Thursday, November 11, 2010
D is for Dominate
If you have ever toyed with the idea of running a marathon, please do so! I had such an incredible time last Sunday, I have still not come down from the endorphin rush. It was an experience beyond compare. When Vronsky saw me come up 4th Street around mile 10 in Brooklyn, I had this big dopey grin on my face, one that I held all the way to the finish, fatigue and the fact that I really had to go to the bathroom be damned! If there was any doubt in my mind that New York was NOT the greatest city in the world, then it has surely been eradicated by this point. The way the entire city turns out for the marathon is incredible. From the tip of Brooklyn to the Bronx and everywhere in between, the marathon shows what makes NYC one of a kind. The diversity and spunk is evident for all 26.2 miles. From the elderly deli owner yelling "run faster, my friend!" to the fire fighters and cops, to the little kids holding out their hands for high-fives, flags being waved from every conceivable country, a little Dominican grandma handing out paper towels, hipsters handing out lollipops, gospel choirs, random folks handing out orange slices, and the sheer fact that people are tailgating this thing, complete with cook-outs and bands, never ceased to amaze me over the entirety of the course.
And don't even get me started on the racers! A lot of people were just like me based on outward appearance, relatively fit and looking to go a solid time and challenge themselves. Others were running for a cause, be it the Robin Hood Program, cancer, MS, in memory of someone, injured or fallen soldiers, the causes are endless, each and every one unique and admirable. And then there was Team Achilles, who guided along disabled athletes, from those who were blind or deaf, missing limbs or were pushing through some another, less visible disability. The sheer joy on their faces was enough to bring tears to my eyes, and really made me savor just that much more the cheer of the crowd, the perfectly sunny day, the friends that came out to support me, the feel of the ground beneath my feet. I was even savoring the mushy bananas that the race volunteers were handing off as we turned the final corner into the Park.
But what brought a real smile to my face, besides a triumphant finish in a better than expected time, was a random voice in the crowd shouting out that they couldn't wait to "dominate a pizza." I knew exactly what he meant! I was starving and have remained ravenously hungry for the past 5 days.
Immediately after finishing, I inhaled the two apples that came in our goody bag along with the complimentary Gatorade and water. I then shuffled 10 blocks downtown to Josephina's near Lincoln Center to meet Vronsky and inhaled a fruit bowl and their "tangle of angel hair pasta" that came with a wonderfully tomato-y sauce, covered in Parmesan cheese. To put it succinctly, I dominated it.
A few hours later, after Vronsky and I had finally made it back home, I dominated some Indian food. I was craving some naan and some nice and spicy chicken, lamb and veggie kebabs.
And in the morning? I dominated 3 bowls of Kashi's Autumn Wheat cereal and a banana and barely made it the three hours that stood between me and lunch, which was Building on Bond's amazing "Black Friday" sandwich, which is a delicious Thanksgiving medley of shaved turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. Mmm, mmm, good.
Tuesday I dominated some Korean BBQ and then last night it was the fillet Mignon at 21. Usually I find 21's food much to rich, but I guess when you are inhaling everything in sight and buying candy from those kids that come on the subway and sell you bags of M&M's and candy bars for $1 a pop, a little extra bacon grease on that burger isn't going to thwart you. Today I dominated a bowl of turkey chili for lunch (as well as the leftover pickle from the author I was having lunch with...classy) and a burrito from Chipotle along with a bag of chips and spicy salsa.
I suppose dominating that pizza or a sandwich or the entire contents of one's fridge is just reward after dominating your own fears and your prior notion of what the body can achieve. Even Shalane Flanagan, the American woman who finished second in her marathon debut, said that the first thing she planned to do was have a burger and a beer. I think it is refreshing sometimes to revert back to our most carnal and base attitudes about food. Not all the time, of course, as I think it is equally fun and rewarding to really think about what your eating, from ingredients and taste to how it is prepared (or how you plan to prepare it), and savor every morsel, but there is something about the sensation of stuffing warm pasta into your face like there's no tomorrow that knows no equal.