‘Fall in NY’
Twenty eight years ago I was three weeks out from participating in my first marathon, the New York Marathon circa 1990. I say participating as I think of it as disingenuous to say I was racing it. Don’t misunderstand me. I do not mean to suggest I was running easy or was not trying. Far from it. I just don’t think I knew what racing was and I certainly did not know how to race.
Believe me when I tell you I tried with all my heart and I don’t think of it as an overstatement to say it was the first individual (non team event) achievement of my life that I actually accomplished to its conclusion. There were many reasons for this over my younger life, some of my own doing and some out of my control and imposed upon me. Whatever the reasons, the NY Marathon did not change my life, the NY Marathon gave me a life, a purpose, a raison d’etre. For those who know me well know that this is well documented and it is not the purpose of today’s blog to go down that road.
To the contrary today is about light hearted reflection. The inserted picture is a picture I took on a recent early walk down Central Park West adjacent to Central Park on a gorgeous Fall morning as I made my way down to the NYRRC Running Center to meet my Team Boomer Teammates for a long run in Central Park.
As I strolled down this beautiful street full of so much history I smiled as I reflected back on that first NY Marathon twenty eight years ago and the seven that followed since (‘ 96 ‘97 ‘03 ‘04 ‘07 ‘09 ‘10). Each one a unique story, some more successful than others, some certainly more painful than others but every one of them without regret and equally important to the tapestry that makes up my running journey.
There is just something magical about October and November in NY City. The changing of the leaves and their incredible array of colors. It’s scorched earth and streets from the sweltering summer giving way to a chill in the air and distinctive hue of the sky. The anticipation of the world’s largest foot race with tens of thousands of runners and their families descending upon its midst from all four corners of the globe and the same burning question “Can I do it and what will my race be like”?
Furthermore prior to marathon weekend is Halloween, a fabulously celebrated spectacle on the East coast and on the heels of marathon weekend, Thanksgiving and Christmas and no better place anywhere in the world for these two holidays than right here in the Big Apple.
Here I am at fifty five and I am hopeful that this will be the most enjoyable of not only all my marathons (27 to date) but especially so of my NY Marathons as I plan/hope to run this as a celebration if you will of my own personal story for myself. A way to honor my past and to celebrate the future as my son Luke is now a resident of the City that never sleeps as a Freshman at Pace University downtown Manhattan. To me it seems everything has come full circle in just under three decades. So many things have changed, so many memories, so much excitement still in the air, so much to look forward to, but some things have remained the same and that is that the New York Marathon remains a very formidable opponent and challenge to traverse and navigate its 26.2 miles of tough streets and bridges and I hope and plan to follow the advice of legendary NY running coach,Bob Glover from his excellent book, ‘The New Competitive Runner’s Handbook’ when he said ‘ Smile when you cross that finish line, you’re a marathoner’
Run Tall, Run Easy.... Coach GP.
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