I rode the new bike to the 79th St Boat Basin in Manhattan via the 59th St Bridge. At the base of the bridge on the Queens side, I saw a new "You Go Girl". I don't know who is responsible for this graffiti, but I always get excited when I find a new one to photograph. I especially love this one because it's pink:
I arrived at the boat basin by 11am:
William arrived shortly after me. He did not, in fact, have a broken nose. He said it was hit during basketball and it still hurt but it appeared fine. (Thanks to those of you that offered to step in last minute!)
We checked in, signed a waiver, got our team numbers and posed for a photo at the finish line while we still looked fresh:
Seconds after we signed a waiver, including a line about not drinking before the race, William said "Let's get beer!" Keep in mind, it wasn't even noon yet - I had a small (7 pt) breakfast, very little water and had just biked for nearly an hour, burning 400 calories - probably more than I had eaten. Not to mention I'm pretty tiny now, so beer affects me very quickly.
"William, we just signed a waiver saying we wouldn't drink before the race."Here's a photo of William from behind, ordering beer. I wanted to show off the back of his shirt:
"Sheryl, will you just live a little for once? You're so uptight! Always worried about rules! Look, other people are drinking! Besides, why would they start this at a place with a bar if they don't want you to drink!? Now what do you want?"
"Blue Moon, please!"
And here we are with our pre-race beer:
But I drank it anyway. Fast. And was soon numb from the elbows down (that's how alcohol affects me. I get numb at the fingertips and the more I drink, the further up my extremities the numbness goes. Not sure if that's normal but that's what happens to me)
I took pics of some of the other contestants (costumes are encouraged):
Finally, it was noon, and the envelopes were handed out! William and I secure a nice spot on the floor and got to work. And I have to tell you - we made a GREAT team! He let me take over like the control freak I am - I had the clue sheet and gave him orders: "Look up the address for this on google!" Meanwhile I would work on the next clue, taking notes, and even using my Droid X (the phone I hated just 2 weeks earlier) to look stuff up too. I have to say, if I didn't have that phone, we would NOT have done as well! Thank you, Droid!
We were allowed to skip 1 clue, and I was pretty certain I had the other 11 correct, so the next thing we did was whip out the subway map I brought and plotted all the addresses on the map. Once I had that done, I ordered them in a way that I thought made the most sense to hit them up. I then quickly transcribed that in my notebook and finally, at about 12:30, we took off.
Now, I had planned to wear workout type clothing - spandex pants or bike pants, and sneakers. But then I thought to myself "William is slow, I can wear heels and I'll still be faster than him". I also decided to wear a skirt, fishnets and (short) 2" heels. This was my outfit:
Of course, just like when I ride my bike in heels, this outfit caused a lot of attention. And before the race began, I heard numerous times: "Are you really doing this in heels?" "Yeah, I'll be fine, I wear heels all the time. I even bike in heels."
While that's true, what I hadn't factored in was the fact that we were starting this race on the west side of Manhattan (did I ever tell you how much I hate the west side? I'm sure I have) and there's NO FREAKING SUBWAYS ON THE WEST SIDE. That meant wayyyyyyy more walking than I had anticipated. And it wasn't casual walking - this was a race! We had things to get to at certain times and make it back by 5pm! So we were speed walking at least and jogging/running at best. It was - seriously - the most physically challenging thing I've ever done. I wouldn't do it in heels again, that's for sure. My feet *still* hurt. Anyway, here are some highlights:
The first clue we got out of the way - me, shaking a dog's paw:
The first clue we got out of the way - me, shaking a dog's paw:
William and I had to pose on a slide in a park:
We had to pose with a stranger with a skateboard: (note: It was 90 something degrees and I was hot. Running down the west side highway, I pulled my shirt off and did the next hour or so in my bra)
One of us had to run 1/4 of a mile at Chelsea Piers (William volunteered)
One of us had to pose on a rock wall (I got the better end of that stick @ Chelsea Piers!)
We posed with a stranger with tattoos:
We posed under the "Chelsea Market" sign:
One of us had to high-five a person in uniform:
After deciphering an address, we made our way there to take this photo:
We went to the Chrysler Building for a clue.
But we were in the wrong location - this was the only clue I got wrong. And I knew it was wrong at the time, but we took the photo anyway.
We were SUPPOSED TO be at the Fuller Building (I took this photo the day after the race)
We made our way to Dylan's Candy Bar for this photo:
One of us had to feed the other a dumpling from Rickshaw Dumpling. I let William do this one, since I wasn't sure what was in it/if it was vegan. He'll eat anything:
Something about seeing William on a subway just makes me smile (on the 6 Train)
We had to decipher another address and once there, tie a certain knot. We started at the same time, but I finished first, of course, cause I have mad skillz:
After doing 10 of the clues we were exhausted and ready to go back. We waited over 20 minutes for the 1 Train (thanks MTA, for screwing me once again!) It was so nice to sit though, my legs & feet were killing me. It also gave me time to drink water and eat my Pop Chips-
When the train finally came, it only took us to 72nd St. Then threw us out and we had the choice of running 7 extra blocks (to 79th) or waiting for the next one, which they claimed was right behind it. It was a gamble, but we waited. And it did arrive in a minute. We rode that 1 stop to 79th St. I wasn't sure what time it was but I knew we were cutting it close to the 5pm end time, so we just started running west. We were EXHAUSTED but I wanted to get to the finish line before 5pm so we didn't get a penalty. We managed to cross the finish line at 4:49 (after crossing and making sure our number was recorded, we went back for this photo:)
And how else would we celebrate? But with more beer. This time I bought. Cheers, my good buddy! We earned this!
This was also taken while we were sitting there, I'm not sure what's going on but I think it's a funny photo:
As we talked about how sore we were and how great we did, I said to William "There's no way I could bike after this". He said "Don't you have to bike home?" D'oh! Yes, Yes I do.
I don't ever remember being that physically tired in my life. I'm not kidding when I tell you that even my first bike tour and my longest bike tour didn't tire out my legs the way this did. I don't have a pedometer, but I am guessing I easily walked/jogged 10 miles this day. I was beat! But I did, in fact, bike home. And I couldn't get over how tiny my legs looked!
I wasn't thinking clearly and took a ridiculous route home and it's a good thing I did. I was headed south on Broadway and was waiting to turn east on Houston to get to the Williamsburg Bridge. On that corner, someone yelled "Bitch Cakes!" At first I thought someone was just reading the name on the back of my shirt (since that happened all day), but realized the voice came from in front of me, so it must be someone that recognized/knew me. I pulled over. And on that busy corner, I met blog reader, Sara, from Boston! She was in NYC just for the day, doing some shopping and just happened to be crossing that corner at the precise moment I was turning. Talk about serendipity! Fantastic meeting you, Sara! Thanks for reading and letting me mention you in the blog!
I finally made my way home and entered my info from my heart rate monitor. These are my stats just from the race (not counting the biking I did there and back). Note: I did not start the HRM until after we worked on the clues - when we actually ran out of the boat basin, until the time we returned:
- Total Time: 258 minutes (4 hours, 18 minutes)
- Time in Cardio Zone: 230 minutes (3 hours, 50 minutes - note: we had to wait for the subway for about 20 minutes, that, and the time we spent on the few subways we took, were the ONLY times we stopped moving all day, and the only times my heart rate dipped)
- Percentage of time in heart rate zone: 89%
- Average Heart Rate: 136
- High Heart Rate: 174
- Total Calories Burned: 1,848
When I got home that evening, I was totally beat. (I can't even imagine how William was doing!) But I had a birthday party to go to. So I showered, changed and walked over there. (More walking. Ouch!)
It was my friend, Jordana's, 30th Birthday. You may remember her because I've mentioned her here a few times. She's my friend who ran the NYC marathon and inspired me to start running too. She was also the one that brought me to Aynsley's Interval Training class last summer, which was challenging enough but then that class was replaced by the Total Body Conditioning class that I still do weekly - the one that nearly killed me the first time - and the one I totally credit with changing the look of my arms, shoulders and back. It's made me so much stronger and I love that class! Thank you for all the ways you've inspired me and happy birthday, Jordana!
While there, amazingly enough, I met another blog reader on that rooftop bar! This is Diana, who has a novel coming out next year - it's set at a weight-loss camp in North Carolina, and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Nice meeting you Diana, I'm sure we'll talk soon :)
While I was talking to Diana, two women I recognized from the neighborhood and my YMCA also came over to introduce themselves. Turns out they came across my blog at some point too and were blog readers. I had no idea! (Tina & Katie, it was great talking to you. I should have asked if you wanted to get a photo, I'm sorry I didn't. I'll see you both soon though!)
And after 2 enormous beers and some catching up with friends, I had to leave. I was so tired and my feet were just killing me and I couldn't wait to get to bed.
From start to finish, it was a *great* day! I will definitely doing the Great Urban Race again next year!
Here's my entire set of photos on Flickr and some of the photos I took from the event ended up on Gothamist, too!