Run Forrest, Run!! – How NOT to prepare for your first marathon!!

Continued from my previous blog post… Niagara Falls in Fall – Niagara in a Nutshell

How NOT to prepare for your first marathon!!  Going against all advice I’d heard for “marathon eve” – suggesting I should stick, very strictly, to my normal routine, get an early night and rest up (particularly my feet!)… I spent the entire day; walking around the city exploring for hours on end, watching the Lion King on Broadway (both in high heels), and not eating dinner until the ridiculous hour of 11:30pm after the show… So much for routine…!!! :/

Halloween in the Big Apple

Runners Expo

Morning Manhattan Sky

This morning, I woke early for my final training run… my plan told me to just do a, fairly chilled, 15minute jog to stretch out my legs – having learnt that the runners expo was just a mile from my hotel, I decided the best thing to do would be to jog my way through the vast high rise buildings that make up New York City, get my race number, and any other things I needed, from the expo and jog back – all before heading out to explore for the day, with my family who’d come along to support me on the big day!!


So, I set out, navigating the nice, easy grid system that makes up the streets of the Big Apple – and head towards the Javits Centre on West 34th and 11th.  The weather was glorious as I ran in and out of the shadows, cast by the huge buildings, from the morning sunshine – after about 10minutes of jogging, I arrived at the huge convention centre and went in to find an array of “Welcome”/”Good Luck Runners” signs on the electronic billboards all around the building, pointing me to where I needed to go to collect my race number.  I made my way, through all the other slightly nervous/excited looking runners, collected my race number, bag and free marathon branded running top – before heading through to all the sales stalls for every conceivable thing you could possibly need, as a runner… there were; clothes stalls, energy bar/nutrition stalls, shoes stalls, accessories stalls and anything else you could imagine needing!!  When I’d finished looking at pacers and clothes and had had my fill of energy bar tasters I head off, jogging back to the hotel, to meet up with the family.

Sightseeing New York City

First stop for sight seeing was the Rockefeller Centre… the huge, 70 story, building is built over a concourse of shops, boutiques and restaurants.  At the main entrance (and, thus, the end of the concourse), lies a golden statue, surrounded by the flags of numerous countries… in the winter, a public ice skating rink is located here – and, at the opposite end of the year, Summer gardens – all for the enjoyment of the public.

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center NYC
Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

We watched some skaters briefly (deciding, sadly, that the skating itself probably wasn’t worth the price tag!!), looked around a few shops, then sat down for some lunch in “Cucina’s”.  We discussed when the best time to go to the “Top of the Rock” would be, over lunch, and decided that sunset would be the perfect time to get a 360 view over the city at both day and night time!  So, we booked our tickets for, when we believed sunset would be, the next evening (after the marathon, all being well!! :/ )

5th Ave bboys

Next we head down 5th Ave briefly, and happened to bump into some bboys (breakdancers) putting on a street show… due to my, brief, background in the dance style, I just had to get a photograph of me joining them for a “freeze”…!! 😛

Halloween Kid NYC

Walking across, towards Times Square, I became enthralled by all the lights and bright colours, surrounding me in all directions… I felt, a little bit, like I was back in China again – only with a much more recognisable scripture than I had become accustomed to whilst living out there!!  All the signs for all the Broadway shows I wanted to see… amidst them, my favourite – The Phantom of the Opera!!  One thing on my NYC bucket list, was a night out on Broadway… we decided tonight should be the night, since everyone would out doing “Halloweeny things”, and we would still see some of the festivities as we wondered towards Times Square!!  Next, came the debate on which show to see… the only one we all seemed to agree on was The Lion King – so Lion King it was!!  We agreed to book our tickets, then start moving back towards the hotel to get dressed up and ready for our theatre evening!

NYC Mounted Police - Times Square

The Lion King

I got dressed up in my traditional Chinese dress, which I’d brought specifically for our Theatre night (NOT for Halloween!!)… on the way through the costumed crowds making their way to their Halloween festivities, I was passed a pretty insulting (but ultimately quite humorous) note, by some white chick, who was obviously trying to prove some political stand (by passing a note and, quickly, running off to hide in the crowds) – telling me my “costume” was inappropriate and insulting!!  At first I wasn’t sure whether to be shocked and embarrassed that I may actually be insulting people, or to just laugh at this girls obvious gutlessness!!!

The Lion King on Broadway

Continuing on, towards the theatre, and the excitement really began to bubble up inside… I’d, previously, heard a number of reviews about The Lion King on stage, and they were all booming… The one thing I LOVE about Disney, in general, is their attention to detail in everything they do – and this musical definitely didn’t disappoint!!

The very first song, “The Circle of Life“, literally sent shivers down my spine throughout the song… I’ve never had that feeling before for the ENTIRE song!!  As the cast, of African animals, made their way, through the audience, onto the stage, you could really hear the; power, passion and skill of the numerous vocalists.

The Lion King on Broadway - Hyena Head

The costumes were, truly, a visual spectacle – and, although the storyline was largely unchanging (which would have been a disappointment…!!), they did add one or two more humorous/modern quips, in place of the original movies’ script!

Looking around the shop, after the show, and some of the costumes were on display – I really can’t stress just how impressed I was with the attention to detail on the outfits, considering they only, generally, get seen from far away in the audience!!

Bubba Gump Shrimp

Bubba Gump Shrimp NYC
Bubba Gump Shrimp NYC - "Run Forrest, Run!"

At around 11:30pm, we left the theatre and went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant… a restaurant in Times Square based on the film “Forrest Gump” – it was full of all kinds of memorabilia, quotes and pictures from the film.  Whilst we were waiting for our food to arrive, our waitress came over to ask us a few “trivia questions” on the film… to which I, surprisingly, knew all but one of the answers… I do love the film, but hadn’t realised I’d watched it THAT many times!!

I tried to carb load up with mashed potato… and pudding ;P ready for the race in the morning, then we went downstairs to look in the gift shop, before going back to the hotel and, finally (around 1:30am), getting some rest for tomorrow’s race day!!!  Wish me luck!! 🙂

Bubba Gump Shrimp NYC - "and that's all I got to say about that."

How did you prepare for your first marathon?  Have you ever been to any of the places mentioned in this post?   Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below… I always make every effort to respond!! 🙂

Love, Magic and Fairy Dust 😉

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