Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
i thought i would do a new kind of entry today.
although not photo driven, and certainly not "my work" i felt like my first marathon was noteworthy and a journey unlike any i have ever taken before. that being said, i thought i would tell it with my words and photos, a couple from my phone and some from the amazing people i am lucky enough to call family.
the day started early with a 6 am alarm, despite the fact that i was in the starting wave for the elderly and disabled at 10:40 am. on the A train downtown i befriended two fellow runners and began to feel the comradery as we made our way to the staten island ferry. its amazing that technically we are all "racing" against one another, but the feeling of community is almost overwhelming.
after doing some serious bonding with men who don't play for my team but who were extremely generous with their encouragement and provisions it was just me, lining up in the 56000 corral ready to hit the bridge and start the race. luckily, i had jared from subway and his trainer standing next to me to offer up additional inspiration.
the first 5 miles were run with andrea from st. louis and getting over the verrazano bridge felt like an accomplishment in itself. we made it to mile 5 before i decided that her pace wouldn't allow me to get through the next 20+ miles and i watched her red pony tail bounce on ahead of me as i let the brooklyn crowd carry me to the 7th mile, where i was expecting to see my korean husband jean, and her korean husband seaj, but we somehow missed one another, which was sad, but turns out she did make me a sign, as seen below. thanks jeanie!
missing jean was sad, but i knew that that i had laura hahn somewhere around mile 8 and i kept an eye out for her the next couple of miles. she is actually the one who suggested that i have people at check points to look for an have friends run a mile or two with me, a suggestion for which i will be eternally grateful. she made sure i knew she would be across from a gospel choir in the 8th mile and when i passed the 8 mile mark with no sign of her, my heart grew heavy, but my feet continued to hit the pavement. it is bizarre how every imaginable type of music begins to sound like the melodies of the lord when you are hoping the hear them. about half way through mile 8 i saw the sign below and the smiling face of laura and her ladies in waiting (thanks to you all). she squealed and yelled out i love you which basically catapulted me to mile 9.
it was at mile 9 that i was set to meet my bestie, syd to run a couple of miles with me. i looked for the blonde ponytail i have come to know so well and as i ran past bedford i had to face the reality that i wouldn't get to see sydney and all i had to look forward to was seeing my father at mile 21. a daunting task if ever there was one.
i was feeling strong through brooklyn and looking forward to a new borough.
this strength was only enhanced when i saw morgan's beautiful face on the bridge just past the half marathon mark.
i knew she was tracking me but i had no idea she and eric and tony would be perched on the bridge, just before the crowd with my very own sign. i actually didn't even read the sign as i zipped past, but i darted over to grab her hand an hear eric yell something into my ear.
i know it sounds silly, but feeling the love from strangers and then from your friends and family really lifts you up and gives you a resurgence of energy.
its official, i have become my mother.
with the half way mark behind me, brooklyn and queens under my belt and 3 more boroughs awaiting my arrival i pushed on. the queensborough bridge is surreal as it is silent and yet another incline. here is where people started to drop like flies; stopping to stretch, walking hand in hand with their race partners, and generally just taking it easy. once the bridge comes to an end 1st avenue is amazing. one straight shot of people flanking both sides of the avenue. the cheers were deafening and, since i didn't opt to use my headphones, the cheers acted as my music. unfortunately, no amount of cheering was going to make the tightening of my thighs and excrutiating pains in my ass subside and around mile 17 i gave way to the walk/run of the weary.
i felt like a pussy, but what can i say, 17 is the furthest i have ever gone, so it is a record of some sort. every time i saw someone coming up show seemed like they might be a good match as far as my pace, i noticed they were either a) geriatric or b) morbidly obese, so i sacked up and pushed through with a cripple's pace. after all, dad was only 5 miles away.
heading uptown came and went and the bronx was a blur, although the best band throughout the sojourn was to be found in the 1 hot mile spent in the forgotten borough.
as i headed down 5th avenue i was anxiously awaiting my father and, seeing as he looks more like john travolta than al green, he wasn't hard to spot in spanish harlem.
once i saw him, much like with laura and morgan my adrenaline began to pump harder and i ran right up to him, only this time he came along for the ride. poor choice in footwear and the undeniable fact that my father just turned 60 left him sweaty and cramped fairly quickly, but it was also the perfect excuse for me to slow down. with only 5 miles to go i wanted to save my energy to run through the finish line.
not sweaty or out of breath i chatted with pops coming down the east side and parted ways with him, as well as some of my superfluous accessories and dragged ass along the southern part of the park.
as you're turning that final turn along columbus circle, as i have for many other races, you are just praying to make it to that finish line. you almost will it to come to YOU. with the banner looking pretty well secured the .2 miles away, i "just kept running", per sydney and nemo's suggestion (or was the dorie?).
with only a short way to go i kept my eyes peeled for my family and was fortunate enough to spot my brother in law, nephew Ryan, and sister in full Jackie O regalia. With my mother screaming out my name as I passed, the hi fives they offered me were followed by about 15 strangers leading up to the finish line and helping me happily cross the finish line in just over 5 hours.
unfortunately i didn't make it under 5, which had been my goal, but i did meet some great people, see the city i live in in a whole new way, and felt loved, by strangers and family alike. i would like to say thank you to my parents who both flew out from california to support me. the gellers who weathered the cold. my friends who made signs and wished me luck along the way. and the people of new york city who made all 45,000 of us feel like winners no matter how old, fat, or slow.
hope to see you in 2011!