On the Eve Of Greatness

Day 122- Easy Run- 5.25 Miles.

Day 123- Easy Run- 4.01 Miles.

Day 124- Shake Out Run- 3 Miles.

The training is officially over. My girlfriend for the last 18 weeks has been that calendar and corresponding spreadsheet telling me what my task was for the day. We shared almost every morning together. Even on the days I took off, I checked in with her. I took her with me on vacation to Greece to keep me on track, which is a pretty big step. I would study my progress and the total miles adding up. Each week I felt the commitment get stronger.

It’s a bunch of numbers that tell a story but not the whole story. 125 days, 18 Weeks, more than 111 hours of running, six or seven days a week and approximately 865 miles. In the end, it is all about tomorrow, standing on that bridge waiting to hear and feel the cannons explode. It is my annual love letter to New York, because I don’t know if there can be a better day in this City. New York is perfect in the Fall. That crisp weather, the cliche changing leaves and people wrapped in fall jackets and their faces are flushed, red and pink, from the slight chill in the air.

If there is anything I could change about the New York City Marathon it would be to run over more of New York. Let me see the lower east side, let’s run through the Village and maybe even see my neighborhood Astoria. I never thought I could have a relationship with something where it seems to inspire the same excited feelings every year. I am as anxious and excited about tomorrow as I was last November and the November before. And I know what to expect but this process of training and getting ready makes this like a fresh experience, as if I am going to get something new out of this. I know it is the same course, the same City, but its a new year and therefore a new feeling. I am renewing my vows to that same girl because I know its what I need, at least until another three hundred sixty-five plus days when I am standing back in Staten Island next year.

I was describing the race to someone who is running it for the first time and I qualified everything that I can’t possibly do it justice. The experience belongs to every person that runs it in a very subjective way. We are all dealing with something, whether we know it or not, but that trip through Brooklyn, Queens and over the Queensborough Bridge onto a booming and roaring First Avenue is cathartic. That hum and rumble that you feel coming off the Bridge is something that can never be recreated. I thing I said the first time was it was the closest I would ever come to feeling what a professional athlete experiences. And I get this feeling in my hometown, amongst the people I grew up with and live with.

That I guess is my best explanation for why I want…need to go back every year.