Oh! I know! How about WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?! Yes, let's discuss that. And by discuss, I mean I will talk at you for the next several paragraphs.
I'm not going to write a full recap of what was going on in the tri-state area during those days, as I'm sure you've all been captivated by the news. I'll simply provide a recap of what was going on in the world of MeriG running (as this blog would invite) from Thursday through [what once was] Marathon Sunday. This is about to not be very funny. It's just gonna get real.
So, I left you all last Wednesday just as the controversy surrounding the NY Marathon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was just heating up. I was -- frankly -- working very hard to convince myself that running this thing was a good idea. It wasn't easy.
Thursday. Matters intensified. The extent of the damage and devastation was becoming more apparent and the marathon setting up was providing a stark juxtaposition to the pure horror just within miles of us. And social media was blowing up. I become increasingly upset at the proposition of running this thing within the atmosphere that was quickly becoming more and more volatile, negative, and upsetting to everyone. Runners and non-runners alike.
Friday. I woke up feeling worse about myself than maybe I've ever felt in my life. I was -- I am not kidding you -- very close to dropping out. What the hell was going on? This wasn't what I signed up for. This was supposed to be a joyous event for the city, not one that was causing so much pain, anger and divisiveness. But the race was going on, and I had worked hard. And -- despite calls for runners to "boycott" -- that simply wasn't going to happen. If a race was happening, I'd be in it.
I went to the 2012 NYC Marathon Expo with my friend Miriam with a heavy heart. We picked up our bibs, I bought 2012 race gear (with proceeds going to Sandy relief) and we visited the various sponsor booths.
That took a couple of hours in the morning and then I went to work. And my co-workers at Colgate (as they always are) were amazing! They were encouraging, helpful, and supportive. They made me feel like it was okay for me to run. As many said, they might have not agreed with the decision, but it was happening. And I had worked damn hard. And I had raised nearly $3,000 for a charity! I was a good person. And I was going to run the freaking NYC Marathon.
And then it was a little past 5 pm and I got on the bus to head home. Scratch that, I attempted to get on the subway. And then the bus. And it was the worst commute ever as every commute basically has been for the past week. New Yorkers feel me on this.
So I'm on the bus, holding my huge bag of marathon gear and another huge bag of stuff to donate to charity and suddenly...I get about 10 texts.
"OMG MERI NO!"
The marathon was cancelled. All news sources reporting.
For a few minutes, I was peaceful. I called my parents and told them not to come in the next day as planned. I texted a few people back thanking them for their kind words. I read the breaking news from NY Times and CNN.
And then -- on the public bus -- I broke.
My friend Kelly, whom I have mentioned in past blogs, once again came to my rescue. She knew me and knew that when I wrote "I'm fine, I'll be fine" in my text to her, what I actually meant was:
I trained. And trained. And trained. For 18 months. I have not worn heels since June. I have not eaten what I wanted to eat, drank what I wanted to drink, or done what I've wanted to do. For basically 18 months. This can't. Be. Happening. Again.
And she -- unasked -- collected my blubbering butt from the bus with a hug. And opened a bottle of wine. And then another. And sat with me while I did this:
|This is not meant to make you feel bad for me. This is meant to simply demonstrate the mania. Somehow drunk I felt that this was important to chronicle. And so I did.|
Turns out after two bottles of wine, you can indeed fall asleep.
My sincere apologies for any drunk dialing that may or may not have occurred during this episode.
Saturday. I woke up, feeling like death.
No, no, the marathon thing was fine. I had just drank two bottles of wine sweet god ahhhhhhh.
I met a friend for brunch and then realized, after his wise words smacked even more sense in me and the soberness set in, that this was absolutely, positively, the correct decision. This actually felt right. I felt -- and continue to feel -- absolutely horrible for those who flew great distances and spent their money in hotels all for naught. Because this decision really should have been made on Tuesday or Wednesday (giving them plenty of time to cancel). But the decision was still right.
I also started feeling horrible for -- as I continue to feel horrible for -- the many amazing charities, such as my Team For Kids, that had to deal with the fall-out from this and get so much slack from ignorant people who used them as a scapegoat. These charities use the Marathon as their major revenue source and deserve nothing but praise.
I texted with fellow runners and we decided we wanted to run Sunday am together anyways, because it would make us feel better. I saw a movie (Argo! Seriously! See it!) and went to bed.
Sunday. One of the girls I run with mentioned that there was a big group doing a "Run Anyways" thing at 9 am. Sounds good, I thought.
So we met up in the park at 9. And holy crap.
As you might have heard there was a few factions of Marathoners who did amazing things that day. One group ran around Staten Island handing out provisions [AMAZING!], another ran most of the route on their own. But I met up with a fantastic crowd of runners and spectators in Central Park.
Thousands and thousands of runners and spectators met at 9 and started off to run their personal Marathon. I did a little over 2 loops of the park (15 miles), but some went all the day. I saw people representing countless countries, wearing their bibs and race gear, and smiling. Spectators brought signs and made make-shift tables of water and gatorade. People banded together and said today will be positive! It was incredibly emotional and incredibly heart-warming.
I ran with a few girls from my TFK group:
|Me, Joss and Erica|
I started at the Finish...
...and finished feeling, truly, at peace.
I may run NYC in 2013. I need a bit more time before I make that decision.
But, I did decide that this Marathon thing? Yeah, it needs to happen. Because this is getting ri-god-damn-diculous. Which is why....
I am doing the MIAMI Marathon!
Jan 27, 2013, BABY!!!!
Because MeriG? She ain't even close to giving up.