Pre-Amble: TCS NYC Marathon 2015 – Part 2

Thursday arrived, the wife and I got home from work, and double/triple checked our bags, to make sure we had EVERYTHING we would need for the New York trip. We weren’t running *late*, per se, but were running short of time. I opted to run (drive) down to Chipotle to pick up some pre-flight food. Turns out, they were in such a hurry to help the customers, they only half cooked the chicken. Of course, I didn’t realize that fact until AFTER I returned home. Throwing our food away, we had to get to the airport.

Some friends arrived to graciously drive us to the terminal. We went inside, check ourselves into the flight (again), and paid the exorbitant bag check fee. Seriously, if I am buying a plane ticket, why can’t one bag per person, at least, be included in the fare?

Making our way through security without an issue, we set our sights on food. Our second attempt at pre-flight meal. This time, we settled on Sammy’s Pizza. My food was OK, hers was mediocre, at best. Oh well, it was some much needed calories consumed.

Sitting at one of the charging stations, we killed time until that awesome announcement to board was made. Getting to our seats, we settled in, and enjoyed the flight.

Our plane to NYCI was a little saddened to see the rocking chairs weren’t present in the Charlotte Airport anymore. It was OK though, as our connecting flight was not that long of a wait. We had enough time to snag some breakfast, and board our next plane.

Landing at JFK in New York City, it became more real. Once we got our bags, and decided on a way to get to the hotel (debated Uber or trains) – we opted for the trains, off we went. There was a slight hiccup leaving the airport, as I hadn’t had to deal with metro cards, airport exit payments, etc before. Got it all worked out, despite the credit card companies trying to decline the charges.

Finally, we were on the trains. Fortunate for us, Thursday morning, when we were on the trains, was not an incredibly packed time. We had a few bags with us, and it was a little cramped in some of the cars. Navigating our way from JFK to the proper station by the Natural History Museum took a little over an hour. We emerged from the train station, and its accompanying burnt metallic smell, into the bright sun, steps from Central Park West!

A couple block walk was all we had to make, and we were at the door to our hotel. The staff was great, allowed us to check our bags in early, so we didn’t have to carry them about the city.

Unencumbered by luggage, off to B&H Photo! We picked up a small walk-around camera, after drooling over the mecca that is B&H Photo’s store. From there, it was only a short walk to the Jakob J Javits Convention Center, home of the TCS NYC Marathon Expo, right next to the Hudson River.

We made use of the food court, and had some of the passable food, before delving into the Expo itself. I found the proper line for my bib & race day bag, was given my shirt, and moved on down toward the exit.

Similar to theme parks, you exit through the gift shop, this time, into the Asics sales area. Oh yes, there was so much that called out to me to purchase. I managed to refrain from spending ALL of our trip budget in there, but still picked up a few souvenirs. Escaping the confines of the Asics section, we wandered around the expo a bit, checked out some vendors, sampled some products, and I sat through a course presentation by the organizers, giving tips and pointers on where to watch the pace, where to accelerate, etc. Very valuable information.

From there, we trekked back to the hotel, checked-in, and went out for, you guessed it, more food! I was expecting some price increases, as we were in NYC, however, 4x the price we are used to paying for a bottle of Gatorade just seemed excessive. As were the $1,000 Met/Royals World Series tickets, but that’s another story.

Light city wandering, and a breathtaking shakeout run through Central Park on Halloween morning filled our time, awaiting the much awaited November 1st!

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