Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sandy Ruins Everything

Today I woke up and ate breakfast. I reset my clocks. I had a cup of coffee. Want to know what I didn’t do? I did not rise at the crack of dawn. I did not take a ferry to Staten Island. I did not run 26.2 miles.

As most of you probably know, this has been a rough week. On Monday, New York and New Jersey got pummeled by a massive storm. Parts of the city flooded and many homes lost power. The subway system was totally out of commission for days. Initially Mayor Bloomberg said the marathon would still take place. But many runners, residents, and city officials thought that holding the race while some parts of New York lay trashed and dark would be disrespectful. As the backlash mounted, I worried that the route would be lined with protesters. Or, worse yet, no one at all.

Finally, on Friday afternoon, Bloomberg and the New York Road Runners made a last-minute decision to cancel the marathon. Here’s what my face looked like . . .

Soren’s parents were already here. My parents, who were set to fly in on Saturday, decided not to come. The news was especially heartbreaking because I’ve been looking forward to this day for months. I did all of the grunt work, but got none of the glory.

After the shock wore off, I sank into a deep depression and decided to drown my sorrows. Luckily we had plenty of wine. Wine and Korean food. But at midnight, I got indignant. No one gets to tell me whether I can or can’t run! Certainly not Mommy Bloomberg. Then, an idea! I had heard that the Prospect Park Alliance was holding a 5K race on Saturday to raise money for the cleanup of the park. I’ll run that goddamn race, I thought drunkenly.

I woke up at 7am, put on my racing clothes, and biked to the park. Soren followed close behind. We froze our butts off waiting for the race to start. But finally it was time to run.

I have no idea how long it took me because the race wasn’t timed. My feet felt like logs of frozen beef for the first half. Then they began to thaw. A couple of kids passed me, but I didn’t care. Soren, who was waiting at the finish line, told me a man in tiny American flag shorts won. But I felt like a winner too. This is what winning looks like.

Then we biked home and Soren made me bacon waffles. I may not be running a marathon, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up on carb loading.

I also didn’t want to give up on my marathon t-shirt. So yesterday afternoon Soren, his parents, and I made a sad, sad pilgrimage to Manhattan to pick up my race bib and t-shirt. The subway still isn’t back to normal, so our trip consisted of a 20-minute walk, a train, a walk, another train, another train, and then a walk. It was an epic journey — all to wander the somber halls of a half torn down fitness expo and pick up a t-shirt for a race I won’t be able to run. And I can’t really even wear the shirt. Because I’m  not a marathoner. Not yet anyway.

Today I should be marathoning. But maybe I’ll have a martini and a cigarette instead. There’s always next year.

[Don’t despair. I still plan to run a marathon. The race organizers haven’t yet told us exactly what’s happening. I presume the race is cancelled rather than postponed, and I imagine my entry will be deferred until next year. So watch for me in 2013. I’m in it to win it, baby!]

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The Final Countdown

It’s all happening! In just a few days I’ll be running the New York City marathon. Even that blustery witch Sandy couldn’t derail the race.

First, a huge thank you to everyone who donated. Because of your generosity, Camfed will be able to help more even more girls get an education in Africa. (To those of you who donated on cookie day, I’ll be in touch soon to find out if you have any food allergies or special requests).  You guys rock!

Now comes the hard part — running 26.2 miles. Some of you may want to come watch the race just to be sure I’m fulfilling my end of the bargain. Please do! I would love to see you.

Where will you be? There’s a map of the course here. I’m in the last wave, which means I start at 10:55 am. I plan to run between 11- and 12- minute miles. If you’re waiting on 4th Avenue, I’ll be on the left hand side. To have an even better shot at spotting me, you can track me by my bib number. You can receive text message updates for a small fee or you can track me on the marathon web site for free. Go here for more info. My bib number is 61179. You’ll need that number to track me.

What will you be wearing? A gray t-shirt with my name on it, colorful leopard print arm warmers, a white hat, and black pants. Because that’s how I roll.

Can I track your progress even if I don’t attend the race? Sure! Go to the marathon web site. There should be a spot where you can enter my bib number 61179. You’ll need that number to track me.

I’m understandably nervous, but so is everyone else. Soren had an anxiety dream in which he forgot to make signs to cheer me on. He was frantically trying to find an art supplies store the morning of the race. My mom is nervous about flying into LaGuardia. And I’m worried about the controversy.

Many New Yorkers think the city should be focused on recovery and not hosting a race that traverses all five boroughs, parts of which are still without power. Will we get booed? Will people protest? I was nervous about my ability to finish with a supportive crowd. Running 26.2 miles while being heckled and harassed seems like it will be impossible.

While I understand the backlash, the marathon is happening. And I’ve worked too hard to drop out. As you may remember, training hasn’t exactly been easy. In fact, some weeks have been downright miserable.

So I will race. But first I’ll make a donation to the Red Cross to help my neighbors in New Jersey, Staten Island, Rockaway, and Coney Island. See you at the finish line.