Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Race Buddy: NYC Marathon 2009

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."

"All right, then, I'll go to hell."

Gotta love Mark Twain! This week I was laminating a project for one of the 8th grade teachers at the Middle School, and I came upon some great quotes from MT. Then I started to think back on how much I ADORED his Diaries of Adam and Eve, a unique volume that demonstrates a very loving, sensitive side of Twain (along with the wit and humor that we expect).

So I've picked up a couple of other unusual books as MT reflects upon life, love and religion for my trip down to NYC including The Bible According to Mark Twain: Irreverent Writing on Eden, Heaven, and the Flood by America's Master Satirist. I look forward to mulling over irreverent thoughts through the 5 boroughs in New York on Sunday. Looking forward to the company, Mark! Anyone else want to share a favorite Twain quote?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Next weekend I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my first NYC marathon. This marathon is special to me as it sparked a real shift in my life. What really stood out when I first arrived out in Staten Island on a FREEZING cold day in November of 1999, was that it truly was the city where "the world comes to run". There were thousands of runners from all over the world proud to be in the Big Apple representing their particular country. And I was thrilled to be a part of this global community of runners in an exciting, fast-paced city filled with adventure. I was Dorothy excited to be out of Kansas.

I was so pumped up at the start of the race that I went out really fast. But the pace felt good so I decided to stick with it. I reached the 13.1 mile mark in 1:23. At that point I told myself that either I was going to have the race of my life and qualify for the Olympic Trials or completely crash and burn. So I went for it.

As it turned out I crashed BIG TIME having to walk most of the last 2-3 miles. Those last few miles were long, slow and painful, but I actually felt fabulous finishing that race. What I found most exciting and exhilarating was the fact that I took the risk and put forth my best effort and NOT those numbers on the clock at the finish line (3:02). So I didn't qualify for the Trials, but at least I gave it my best shot. I also recall so many thoughtful and supportive gestures from the other runners at this race, despite the language barriers. When you're running along with the same person for 5 or 6 miles you actually begin to bond, even if there aren't any words. I wish I could meet and thank the Norwegian woman who handed me a grape licorice stick at mile 21 when she could tell I was starting to fade. My memories of this day will be always be precious to me.

I love coming back to New York. This year is going to be a slow one, but I'm still thrilled, honored and grateful that I will once again "be a part" of this amazing race and incredible city.
This year I've got a great itinerary which includes great reads on the train to and from the city, a ticket to Wicked on Broadway, Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dinner with DFMCers in the Village, and oh yes, a 26 mile "jog" on Sunday morning.
A toast to all NYC runners past, present and future who embrace the positive spirit of what it means to come together peacefully and run!

Monday, October 12, 2009

After a FABULOUS get-away wedding weekend with wonderful friends down in Kiawah island (below is the view from our balcondy), it was back to training as the NYC marathon is less than 3 weeks away - yikes! Today I ran the Tufts Health Plan 10k with the Babes Bookin' It team of women and high school athletes. About four years ago I created Babes Bookin' It as a fundraising event to support the literacy nonprofit, First Book. This was before I started working with the DMSE Foundation in order to bring Fit Girls to girls living in underserved communities in Boston. So for the past two years I've recruited 'babes' to run both the Falmouth Road Race and the Tufts event and agree to raise funds for the Boston Fit Girls Project. Today was particularly special for me as it was the first opportunity for me to run a 10k with my oldester daughter, Kallie, who also happens to be one of the captains of the Medfield cross-country team. We(Kallie, me and a dozen or so of her cross-country teammates) got stuck way in the back so we were basically running the first couple miles at a snail's pace. However, at about mile 3 Kallie started to kick and it was so great to run hard with her those last 3 miles. And I adore the rest of her team that also joined us at today's event. Catching up on the teenage gossip during our T ride to and from the race was entertaining, but I'm SO glad that those days are over! Thanks to those other adult "babes", Kristina, Teresa, Suzanne, Miranda and Mary who also ran with these pretty young things.