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04 November 2013 @ 12:45 am
three(ish) things.  
1a. I feel like a New Yorker trapped in the South.

1b. Runspiration: ING NYC Marathon.

If I was looking for my fire, I think I found it again.

My first thought this morning, after wondering why it felt so bright and cold in the house despite it being only 7something AM wasn't the long run scheduled for today (and subsequently canceled).

My mind was in New York.

It was my first time watching an international caliber racing event on television in full, or at least as long as ESPN2 aired coverage. I was so excited -- it was as if the Olympics were on TV!

I didn't think I could get so emotional just watching. I felt pride, excitement, and joy as the camera panned across the hordes of runners waiting their wave starts, as the wheelchair division was shown powering through, and the professional women and men's divisions began. I also admit that I felt a bit of FOMO, especially knowing that I had acquaintances running and several friends in Manhattan and Brooklyn likely spectating. If ING NYC was on my run bucket list before, it is definitely now at the top of my list.

I even started to tear up a bit, especially at the coverage about the importance of this year's race in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and Boston. New York is my favorite city. Magical, mystical, a big city made up of town-like neighborhoods and boroughs, multicultural, home to an impeccably efficient subway system, the city of dreams that never sleeps; there is always something new to discover. Fall is my favorite season. Seeing the iconic shot of a sea of brightly-colored runners traversing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and later, the brilliant autumn foliage in Central Park made me so happy.

I was rooting for Ethiopian-born Bronx resident Buzunesh Deba, aiming to be the first New Yorker to win since 1976, to maintain her lead in the women's pro race but also marveled at the seemingly effortless, graceful way in which Priscah Jeptoo floated past to clinch the women's title. Her lithe gazelle-like frame belies her 5'5" height -- I could have sworn that she is at least 5'8".

The men's race was no less exciting. I appreciated the collegial way in which the pros, as they were introduced, greeted each other and settled into the pack before the cannons went off at the official start. I ended up leaving the house for errands and was elated to see Geoffrey Mutai finish first but was puzzled as to what happened to Meb Keflezighi, who was a total class act despite not finishing on the podium.

My mom woke up toward the tailend of the coverage, and she had thought the noise emanating from the living room was pre-Saints vs. Jets hype. Nope. I was still entirely fixated on the race. Her first reaction when I told her what I was watching? How dangerous a race with 50,000+ runners is, a prime target for terrorists. Good morning to you, too.

I didn't say anything but took comfort and satisfaction in the fact that the ING NYC Marathon is back to stay, and that this year's race went off without a hitch, a celebration of the community, sport, resilience, and universality of running and LIFE in general.

11 weeks to Houston. Cowabunga!

2. "I have learned not to worry about love, but to honor its coming with all my heart." - Alice Walker

This weekend I had a liberating realization. Maybe it's a good thing that I am unattached because I have many plans to travel, race, and try new things that I might not be able to do if I were with someone or a parent like some of my college friends. (Different strokes for different folks.)

Not to say that I think monogamous relationships are intrinsically restrictive, but I think this revelation has given me one less thing to worry about and has made my mindset more positive.

3. Tonight's Gospel (Luke 19:1-10) about Jesus' interaction with the tax collector Zaccheus recalled second grade and First Reconciliation in which I sang Zaccheus (I was the shortest in my class even then) to my friend Courtney's Jesus; an orange ladder stood in for the sycamore tree.

I remember being mortified in rehearsal for not knowing my lines, which prompted my home room teacher/choir director Mrs. Burns, an accomplished Episcopal choirmaster (even then I had ties to Anglican music :) to seek me on the recess playground to have a chat. After that I never forgot my part, but I was still a bit bashful about finishing the scena: walking down the main aisle distributing chocolate coins and apologizing for my sons as Zaccheus.

p.s. Every time I promise myself to set aside money for "real" clothes (my brief wish list consists of Warby Parker sunglasses, a pair of Frye boots I've wanted since before college, monogrammed white pajamas, and replacement nude fishnet stockings), I end up drawn to athletic gear like a moth to a flame. Oy. This time it's Oiselle -- two new sports bras and possibly a tee.

It's not like I won't use it, haha.