Saturday, November 3, 2012

To Race?...Or Not To Race? That is the Question!

Today's Miles....1174 miles via Delta and Ford....

What's your ultimate dream? That ONE THING that you want to do in life? That thing that is always in the back of your are terrified of it, but want it so badly. You know that in order to make that dream come true, you will have to sacrifice. Sacrifice physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially...and in many more indescribable ways. I have one of those dreams. I'm scared to even share it with you because it will either put me on the path to make it happen, or it will die.

My dream is to run a Marathon. Not just 'participate' in a marathon...but balls-out RUN it. To get there is going to take years. I haven't even participated yet! I don't know that I'm up for the physical strain. The emotional strain. The marital strain. But there, I've said it.  Cat's out of the bag and crapped on it.

To do this, I'm going to have to run...A LOT. Think about what you do every Saturday. Then replace it with running for 2 hours (or more), and being so tired afterwards that nothing else will likely be accomplished that day. That's sacrifice. That's dedication. That's craziness!

I admire EVERYONE that has ever completed a marathon....or is completing the journey to run their first! I know how much I put into a half marathon...and am contemplating doubling that? Am I NUTS? Yes...most runners are.

I can't imagine what it would be like to put in all of that training. To have put in the miles. To have made the sacrifices and look at the news unfolding in New York. The place where your dream is supposed to come true. To wonder if, after everything, it was just wasted? Has your dream ended before it even started? What a disappointment. I'd be in tears....especially in the midst of tapering. I'd have a taper tantrum of epic proportions.

In case you've been under a rock or on Mars, New York City and New Jersey (and many other places) have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy....or Frankenstorm....or FrankenSandy....or the More Perfect Storm.....or whatever you want to name it.

It wasn't a category 4 or 5 storm. It wasn't as fierce as maybe Katrina was. But holy crap it was HUGE. And it hit THE most densely populated place ON THE PLANET. I've seen scenes on the news reminiscent of Katrina, of tornado ravaged towns. Devastation. Desperation. Anger. Sadness. A reality so unreal that people can't believe it. Have no way to understand it. Have not yet accepted it. The wounds are still being cut. And salt water is being poured on it.

This is unreal.

People are still without power. Big deal? When you live on the 17th floor and you're 70 years old...probably a big deal. When the temperatures at night are getting to the freezing mark and you have no heat....probably a big deal.

There are gas shortages. Big deal? Guess what police cars run on? Fire trucks? Ambulances? People that deliver meals to the 70 year old on the 17th floor? Probably a big deal.

	As temperatures begin to drop, people wait in line to fill containers with gas at a Shell gasoline filling station Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Keyport, N.J. In parts of New York and New Jersey, drivers lined up Thursday for hours at gas stations that were struggling to stay supplied. The power outages and flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy have forced many gas stations to close and disrupted the flow of fuel from refineries to those stations that are open.  (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
From the NY Daily News. Can you imagine waiting for gas for 4+hrs to be told "Sorry we're out!"

There are houses still under water.

There are people still missing.

There are bodies being found.

And yet, in the midst of this chaos, this carnage....Mayor Bloomberg knew how to "boost the moral" of the city....Let the NYC Marathon go on as scheduled this Sunday morning!

Big deal? Very BIG freaking deal!

The NYC hosts 45,000+ runners. Those runners have to be bused to the start line on Staten Island. Let me repeat that...they have to be BUSED to STATEN ISLAND.

From the NY Daily News. New Yorkers waiting up to 3 hours for a bus

A woman stands alone in water in front of destroyed homes on Cedar Grove Avenue in a neighborhood where many houses were heavily damaged or completely destroyed by storm surge flooding from Hurricane Sandy on the south side of the Staten Island section of New York City, November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar
From Reuters. I'm sure this lady won't mind if the start line goes up near her house and 40,000 people go running by.

Staten Island is still under water, without power and running out of food/water with little relief in sight it seems. Think of the 1000's of gallons of water/gatorade offered to the runners during the race. The 1000s of blankets used to cover up the runners at the end of the race. The bananas and snacks offered after the race.

But no worries, the Mayor says NO resources will be taken away from the relief effort to host this event.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Yes, the cops/EMTs/firefighters were already scheduled to be on duty (overtime) for the race....guess what....they've been "on duty" since last Sunday. The buses are privately contracted and not city buses....but still run on diesel and could move stranded residents around instead. The blankets have been bought & paid for....while people sit in their homes with the temperatures dropping near freezing. I'm sure the bottles of water were purchased weeks ago and have been sitting in storage....while some residents are going thirsty. The bananas and food were already paid for and being delivered...while some residents are hungry. Does this make sense to you?

You may not be a school bully and steal little Billy's lunch, but you sure as hell don't mind flaunting your sandwich in front of his face in the cafeteria.

A runner runs past some of the generators that will be used for the NYC Marathon. (Reuters)
From Yahoo Sports: Two generators with a third 'back-up' to power up the media tent are enough power 400 homes.

Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC officials have done EVERYONE a disservice. They told the 45,000+ runners that the "Show will go on!" They needed to have that marathon. To "boost moral". To "unite the city" as it has always done. To give people "something to cheer about." We NEED you to live out your dream!

What's a runner, a dreamer to do? Well, the Mayor says it's going to be okay - so let's go to NYC! You may never have another chance to live out that dream! If you don't, all of your sacrifices are wasted. Your dreams gone.

So now, the city has about 40,000 more people that 'are not using rescue & relief resources' in NYC. Those runners have been very uneasy making the decision to go. Getting there and seeing the devastation and realizing that having this race is rude, uncaring and despicable. But what's one to do once you've spent thousands of non-refundable dollars?

Well, Bloomberg says - Just eat that. The race has NOW been canceled. It was canceled on Friday afternoon. AFTER most of the runners made their way to the devastated city. The race should have been canceled. It needed to be canceled. But what a class one asshat to wait until everyone is there!

For the runners: I am sorry. I'm sorry you've trained so hard. You've sacrificed a lot. You've suffered a lot. But please keep it in perspective of what is going on around you. I hope that NYC officials figure out how to make all of those resources that 'did not take away from rescue/relief efforts' to actually aid the rescue and relief efforts.

As for me....I'm running tomorrow. Megan & I are signed up for the Conquer the Mountain 1/2 Marathon in Franklin NC. Megan's at home with pee on her leg peas icing her shin, while I'm in the hotel getting jittery. I wasn't nervous until a bit ago. Megan's very nervous, and rightfully so. She's a bit nutty, that one (or brave - I haven't decided yet). She hasn't 'trained' for this. Meaning: she hasn't been running regularly for the last 2-3 months....while I've been training for 2-3 months. She wants to run it for "fun." (13.1 miles for FUN? Told you she's nutty.) I'm trying to I going to race or not? I'll 'run' it. But do I want to Race it?

I think about my time last year, and how I blew my personal record out of the water by knocking nearly 40 minutes off of my time. Boy!! I'd love to do that again!! I don't think I can improve it like that, but I think I can beat my best time. But it would be nice to run "with" Megan....of course, I think she wants me to run with her because I will be carrying the pepper spray and neither of us wants to be eaten by that big, viscous dog!

So...To Race or Not To Race? That is the question.

For the NYC will not be racing this weekend.

Will I? Guess we'll find out tomorrow...

Gotta run...