I am exhausted, and I didn't even run the marathon yesterday. I did, however, volunteer from 8-2 at the hydration station at Mile 25. I didn't expect it to be quite such a crush, but it was a warm day, and the minute that the runners started passing us, it was absolutely non-stop. I didn't stop to eat or — irony — drink for the whole shift, which was less than ideal, particularly on the heels of a tough race on Saturday. I ran the "Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K," and while I was hoping to PR, it just wasn't my day. Too many people were running at "party pace" — no surprise considering they were probably running the marathon the next day — but didn't have very good race etiquette as they still joined the corrals with the fast runners and paused for selfies and ran 8-abreast along 6th Avenue. I lost a lot of time in the first mile and couldn't make it up, particularly as it's an uphill race. Not a huge deal, but an irritant nonetheless.

The weekend was emotionally exhausting too. I stopped by the Expo on Friday, and realized that not only do I hate exhibits — trauma from working in events management, I guess — but the nervous energy of the runners was deeply unpleasant. But mostly, I'm exhausted emotionally because I don't think I expected the runners to be in such rough shape. Not sure why I thought that, by Mile 25, they'd all have that proverbial wind beneath their wings. But holy shit. And these were, ostensibly, the fast runners. (Over 50,000 people run the NYC Marathon, and the start times are staggered. So I only saw those running sub-4 hour marathons that started in the first wave.) Folks were a mess. A mess. I left thinking "I don't think I can run a marathon." But Kin and I walked back to the finish line around 6:30 to cheer on some of the last runners. Honestly, they looked in much better shape. They were smiling. Walking, mostly. But smiling. I was pleased that there was still a crowd to cheer for them — many marathoners, in fact, had returned to do so.

Watching the wheelchair and the professional athletes was incredible. I am always in awe of their strength and movement — Hellen Obiri and Sharon Lokedi were moving in almost unison; Tamara Tola was just so far ahead of the other men. Flying. Shalane Flanagan — one of the people who inspired me to become a runner — was an amazing surprise. I realized, after the hand-off, that I'd just given water to Zeno Chara. The highlight, I think: cheering for Cal Calamia, who went on to win the non-binary division — someone who has, no doubt, changed the sport for better forever.

But as beautiful as these bodies were, the crush of runners that came through my pitstop were, as I said, pretty rough. Some were so kind and appreciative. Some were angry if they didn't snatch the cup correctly. Some, quite frankly, looked like they were about to die. I had to point out the medical tent to a number of men, and I don't blame them for saying they'd push on. But yikes. YIKES.

Other news: I went bike shopping on Monday, and returned on Wednesday for some bike buying. I'm thrilled with it, and went for my longest ride — if not ever then certainly in the past 30 years — on Thursday. (Ironically, I did not have any problems with Citibikes this week — as if the universe knew I'd shelled out big bucks for my own set of wheels.)

Running went well, race results aside. I did the first speed workout since my half marathon on Tuesday. Because of the race(s), I didn't do my normal long run on Sunday. I was planning on doing so today, but as I said: too fucking tired. I also realized, mid-week, that some of the races I was planning on doing next year would not count towards the "9+1" required for NYC Marathon eligibility. So I signed up for more races. Haha, glad I did so before Sunday, because after watching some of the runners, I am not sure I am tough enough for 26.2!

Lifting also went well, which was nice as it's been a struggle lately. Squats: top set 5 x 105 lb; I finally got over the yips on the bench; I added a second set to my "accessory" lifts; deadlifts: 5 x 119 lb; and OH press — I hate this one — 5 x 48 lb.

Swimming was fine — no better, no worse. And I kept up with the post-run mobility work — yoga and plyometrics — up until Saturday and Sunday's run. (Yeah, I ran to my volunteer assignment, thinking it'd just be 1.5 miles, but as the park was shut down and as NYPD can't give directions for shit, it actually took me 3 miles of running to get to my volunteer spot.)

Final fitness news: I ordered a new 5-pound bag of the protein powder I like. They sent me 12 5-pound bags — like $1000 worth of protein powder. I contacted customer service and they apologized and refunded my money. They told me to just keep the powder. JFC, I live in a small NYC apartment. Where the hell do I keep 60 pounds of protein powder?!

In other food updates: this week I cooked ginger lime chicken coconut soup; spicy sesame beef bowls; french onion bean bake; scrambled tofu and home fries; and date and almond cookies. I bought a loaf of bread from Breads Bakery (after stepping into Paris Baguette — a chain — which did not have any bread suitable for dinner). We went to Sushi of Gari on Saturday — amazing. We had ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream — underwhelming. Kin got bagels from Absolute Bagels. And Poppy and I walked up to Black Lab Cafe, which was sadly closed (so I bought a sausage egg and cheese from a food truck that day, which she was pretty goddamn stoked about); she and Kin went back to the cafe yesterday, and she had a bacon muffin.

I listened to podcast episodes from Maintenance Phase, Barbell Medicine, and This American Life. We finished reading No Meat Required; I finished Vagina Obscura and started The Race to Be Myself. We watched the latest Hercules Poirot movie — Venice something something. The cinematography was a little annoying, but I do love a good murder mystery.

Like I said: exhausted. And this week is just jam-packed too. Not sure how everything is going to get done.

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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