Hurricane Sandy wrecked her havoc on the country this week. I counted myself among the lucky that never lost power, never lost internet connection and had no damage to the house. Neighbors near and far were not so lucky. People a few hundred feet from my house were without power for days due to downed lines and uprooted trees. And New York City, home to one of the most famed marathons in the world, was devastated with flooding, high winds and fires. One of my running heroes, Matt Long, lost his home in the fires that overtook his Queens neighborhood. He has an incredible story and I was saddened to hear that his family was once again hit with tragedy. I highly recommend his book, The Long Run. The debate about whether or not to cancel the New York City Marathon got ugly, and while I respect every runner that trained for months, and possibly years, to earn their spot in New York, I ultimately agree with the decision to cancel the race. The people of Staten Island deserve the chance to grieve and recover without the race going on a few feet away. I think the debate about the race further illuminates the fact that runners are often an enigma to those that don’t run. To quote the great Peter Sagal “this is a reminder of how alien, and self-indulgent, we runners appear to the world at large.”
I spent my week running in wet fall weather. Last Sunday was my planned 10 miler before my half marathon on November 18th. Unfortunately, it was also a day full of rain. My brother-in-law and I ran through 8.5 miles of cold showers and as we neared the parking lot we briefly considered heading home and cutting the run short. I had a moment where I almost gave in, but what did 1.5 miles matter in the rain if I was already drenched? Not much! We pushed through and finished the 10. I’m proud of those moments as a runner-when giving up sounds tempting, but pushing on holds its own rewards. Wednesday, after Halloween festivities were canceled due to weather, I headed out for a quick 3 miles in my neighborhood, again in the pouring rain. As I ran, I looked around my neighborhood and again realized how lucky my family was to have skirted any damage. Today, after 8.5 miles in the cold, early snow of November, I came home to hear about the many runners who showed up on Staten Island this morning to help with the recovery efforts. Now that’s a community I love being a part of!