Dark and muddy in Slovakia
The most violent storm to hit New York in more than a hundred years. A marathon cancelled less than 40 hours prior to its start. A vindication of sorts in the form of an alternative race at 7 am on marathon day. Fantastic breakfasts, lunches (here’s looking at you, Michelin-star-awarded Breslin) and dinners. Wonderful strolls through Central Park and soothing visits to the Metropolitan and Guggenheim. Absolutely awesome parties at New York’s hippest (we were told so!) and most exclusive (well, obviously not, since they let us in) clubs (the VIP-lounge at the rooftop of Meatpacking District’s the Standard vs. simply, the Box). Morning runs along East River, across Williamsburg Bridge and back across a beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. Presidential election-night-bonanza. Shopping ’til we literally dropped. Renting an SUV and playing really loud and offensive rap with our windows down. Driving through a New Jersey snowstorm. Admiring the High Line. Haggling with cheap antique dealers. And finally a champagne luncheon with our family.
I think that about covers an absolutely incredible trip to New York. I sincerely hope all of us are healthy enough and willing to go through the training for another go at the marathon next year.
So how should one relax after such a trip? Well, take another week off, of course! I flew on an impromptu visit to my family in Slovakia a couple of days ago, planning to relax a bit and sit and write a bit for work. Maybe even cut back on the wine and beer that had been administered quite liberally in NY and most definitely work on adding some salad to my diet, preferably cutting back on all the meat and carbs we’d been stuffing ourselves with for the last ten days.
My relatives, though, were having none of it! If you ever visit my family down in Slovakia, let me make one thing perfectly clear. The word “No” and any variants thereof (“No, thank you.”, “I’m full.”, “It really was delicious, but I couldn’t swallow another bite.”, “I can’t have a glass, ’cause I’m driving home.”, I’m a recovering alcoholic.”, “I’ve taken a vow not to touch a drop of wine.”). It’s like throwing pebbles at an avalanche, expecting it to abruptly stop rumbling towards you, shrug and calmly turn around, and finally head back up the mountain again. It simply doesn’t happen. Now, before any of you readers start calling the Social Services or lament the general state of sobriety in my family, let me quickly point out that it’s just the way things work down here. Slovaks – indeed, most Eastern Europeans – are generous to a fault, and love to lavish you with the absolutely best their house has to offer, even if food is coming out of your ears. Maybe you think I’m exaggerating. And maybe you’ve visited yourself. This week has not been an exception. I’m really looking forward to lunch at my aunt Dana’s tomorrow, but I really should have fasted for a week beforehand. She serves the most delicious food this side of the Alps and I always go into a food coma for three days after having been a guest at her house…
Time to take action! Both Jakob and I have been really lazy the last couple of weeks. The week leading up to the marathon was, naturally enough, quite easy on the legs. But since the cancellation, we really haven’t had the discipline to train properly, and have instead indulged in all (well, obviously not ALL) of the vices of The City That Never Sleeps. Apart from the Aid marathon and our Brooklyn Loop, not much has been accomplished during these last ten days. My new life started yesterday with a quick and paced hour of running around a pond in grandma’s little village. 12,4k is not that bad, considering my lengthy abstintence. Followed it up with a muddy and dark run late this afternoon at another village where my other grandmother lives. Awesome run, with loads of stops for pics, as you can see.
Stay tuned for motivational videos on the blog, courtesy of Jakob Kegel!