Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm in a New York State of Mind

Friends. This week, New York City experienced one of the worst natural disasters in many years. Certainly in my lifetime. It created unprecedented damage to the city's subway system, which is still as of tonight not up and running. Houses and apartments across the boroughs, New Jersey, upstate and Connecticut are flooded, damaged, or worse. Belongings gone forever. Lives were lost.

I am incredibly fortunate to live in Manhattan's Upper East Side which -- due to the topography of the neighborhood -- experienced very minimal damage, relatively speaking. We also have been incredibly lucky to sustain no loss of power, unlike our friends all across the lower portion of this Island. This week has had its challenges, but I can't complain.

Won't complain.

But will I lie and say the Marathon didn't cross my mind from the first news report of damage that aired (on the constant, unyielding, 24 news coverage that I couldn't peel my eyes from)? No, I will not tell that lie, sir. I was thinking about the Marathon day and night.

Bloomberg definitively, officially, announced today that the marathon would go on as planned for Sunday. And this has made me very, very happy along with all my team members and friends who have worked so hard over the past several months towards this very personal goal. Many of these team members and friends are battling their own personal issues due to Hurricane Sandy, but they ultimately want to run.

But I feel badly. Because there is a lot of controversy now surrounding this. There is a lot of work to be done to clear the course. A lot of resources to be used. And perhaps should/could those resources be put to better use? And the funds? The pure logistics alone?

I don't know. Maybe. I don't know all the details and can't fully assess. But here's what I do know: This marathon is very important to New York. The revenue it brings in, yes. But also because it's a major, major event that has been a critical part of the city's calendar, year after year. To the Running's The Event. The day. And to cancel it when something could be done would be a shame.

Over the past few nights when different sources were discussing cancellation scenarios and deferment scenarios, I was thinking about it. My heart has been -- and will be -- with everyone who has been affected by this horrible storm. And if there was anything, anything, that could be accomplished in a positive way if we cancelled, I would be for it.

But if I can be truly honest, I am so overjoyed that the Marathon is happening. Another year of waiting and training? I don't know if I have that in me.

Have I been eating well and not drinking this week? No, ma'am. There was a freaking hurricane. I'm not a superhero.

Have I been stretching as much as I could? No. Because I am lazy.

But -- if nothing else -- Hurricane Sandy has given me some perspective. If I have to walk this thing, hell crawl it, I will. Goal times be damned, this is bigger than that.

This is about me, fulfilling a dream of mine, while running across this amazing city that is cleaning up and moving on. And -- despite logistical challenges or issues that make the day less than "ideal" -- I am excited. Real excited.

I have decided that I am going to make this experience as positive as possible. The hurricane tried to put a wrench in that, but I'm not taking the bite. I've worked too damn hard to be upset, stressed, or worried. What will happen will happen. Life is short. Let's make this a happy few days and a glorious Marathon Sunday.

Friday I attend the Expo and pick up my number. Saturday I have a team breakfast with Team for Kids and then the family arrives from Massachusetts. And Sunday...we run.

Sidebar: I got this care package in the mail today from Diane alllll the way in Korea:

The contents include an oversized shirt of a cat dressed as a reindeer, a Korean candy bar, a cat manicure set, a cat fan, a monkey bag that says "Save Me!", a Korean sports bar, the book "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" (which I did want to read, Diane! well done!), and finally some "heart pills" that say they "contain your heart."

Well then.

I'd say with that package in hand, I'm ready to rock.

Would love to see you Sunday or -- if you'd like -- you can Track Me Here.

I wish all the best to all of you continuing to recover from the storm, and please know that all of us running on Sunday will be thinking of you and of this city. That's just the type of inspiration you need to keep going for 26.2 miles.

“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald (Mile 16!)


  1. I heart you for putting an F.Scott Fitzgerald quote in your post. He is, and always will be, me favorite.
    Well said, lady. Very, very well said.

  2. mer, my running lady,
    lots of love this sunday for your 26.2. will be cheering for you from afar.
    i heart you and nyc

    1. Alice -- thanks so much for your continued support. I wear the 26.2 bracelet as inspiration nearly every day!!!!