Sunday, March 25, 2012

NYC weekend recap, getting used to silence, and Chicago 13.1 Marathon registration winner

Just got back from NYC.  It was a very fun weekend and the wedding festivities were incredible.  I also got to meet a lot of Adam's old Penn State friends for the first time, as well as catch up with some of his other friends that I'd already met before.  Good people.

We stayed at a very nice hotel right on Wall Street.  The location was fantastic and even with our limited time we were able to see some great sights within walking distance, e.g. the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Bull, Battery Park, and South Street Seaport (where the wedding took place).

South Street Seaport
I am always amazed whenever I see the New York Stock Exchange building.  It looks so serene from the outside, even with all the security detail.  It's hard to comprehend the billions of worldwide dollars that are fought for and traded within its walls every day.

The New York Stock Exchange building.  If you didn't know what it was,
you could probably walk past it without a second glance.
Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to go check out any of the Food Network chef's restaurants or even to go to one of the ethnic neighborhoods to eat.  But, Adam and I did stumble upon a location of The Original Soup Man restaurant, which was right by the hotel.  For those of you familiar with Seinfeld, this was the inspiration for many an episode! 
(Only because yours truly liked it so much that I ate all of it already.)
Even if you're not a Seinfeld afficionado, I would definitely recommend checking it out.  Their soup and the selections were outstanding!  I had a lentil soup and it was so good that I'm now going to be spending my nights and weekends trying to reverse-engineer their recipe.

I did get a chance to go for a run over both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, through a little bit of Brooklyn, and also through some parts of Chinatown.  The bridges were very cool!  They have more of an incline than one might realize from just looking at them.  I rarely do hill workouts since Chicago is so flat, and running the bridge inclines was a challenging, but nice change of pace (i.e., it really slowed my pace down!).

Kim had warned me that the Brooklyn Bridge might be very crowded and indeed, parts of it were packed with camera-wielding tourists.  I felt like an NFL running back trying to weave my way through the masses.

One of my fellow Fighting Illini alums, Rashard Mendenhall, demonstrating how it's done.
Despite the crowds on the bridge, it was awesome getting to run through some areas of New York and seeing a little bit of life as some locals might.  I'm all about trying to get off the beaten path whenever possible, even if just for a short time!

On a related note - I had my headphones on during the run as usual.  But, for the second time in a week, I actually didn't pay much attention to my music because I was so focused on everything going around me.  Plus, there was a lot of ambient noise - traffic, construction, and even trains running past me on the Manhattan Bridge.  It probably wouldn't have made any difference if I didn't have my headphones on at all.

Based on these experiences, I am starting to consider trying to wean myself of having to listen to music while I run. 
This is a very scary consideration for me...
I'm completely unaccustomed to self-induced silence.  However, when I have my music on all the time, it does start losing its effectiveness after awhile.  I've heard some people using their music late in their runs as a booster when the going starts to get rough.  It makes sense to me.  I may give it a go, even though I know that I'll be bored within 10 minutes for at least the first few times that I try it. 

To be continued...

In the meantime, thank you to everyone that entered the Chicago 13.1 Marathon registration giveaway.  The winner is Kelley!  Congratulations!  I'll be emailing you with more details in the next few days!


  1. Yippee!! I am so excited to win : ) Thank you
    Running the Brooklyn Bridge sounds like something everyone must do.

    1. Woo hoo, congrats again! Would love to meet up at the race if possible! I know you said your daughter lives in Chicago, but let me know if I can help out with anything or answer any questions from another local's perspective, too. =D

  2. So jealous of your NYC running adventures. I had no idea that the bridge would be crowded with tourists. Interesting! I run sans headphones on occasion. It's easier when there are people to talk to. When I don't wear them and I'm running solo, it definitely makes the miles feel longer.*

    1. Likewise, I am so envious of the fabulous half marathon results you have achieved - all your hard work is really paying off!

      Running solo without headphones really is so hard, ugh. (I think the only thing harder is running on a treadmill - even with a TV on or listening to music, I get bored on a treadmill within about five minutes!) Having people there to talk to really would make things so much easier!

  3. Ooo! I have to go to the Soup Man restaurant! I love Seinfeld :)

    So happy you got to run some bridges. Those inclines are sneaky, right?!

    In a few of my marathons I brought my music and did not use it until the last 8 miles or so. It kind of helps. I like that you had it on but were paying so much attention to what was going on that you did not notice it. Lately, music has been a must for me with all the wind - hearing it makes me even more frustrated so I would rather drown it out.

    1. Yes, definitely try the Soup Man the next time you are in NYC!!! It was so good!!!

      Thanks again for the tip on the crowdedness of the bridges! Everytime I run any sort of incline it makes me realize how Midwestern I am. =)

      If I were running in wind, then I would definitely want to drown it out with music, too. I think that's part of why I have so much difficulty with treadmills - just hearing myself pounding on it makes me feel tired!