What Marathon?

Hello from post-Sandy New York City! JB and I are just fine, have power and no flooding. In other words, we are the luckiest people on the island of Manhattan.

Just outside our apartment building.

Down the block.

As I walked around my part of town and surveyed the damage, I became even more appreciative of our good fortune. Many of my friends and classmates are without power, cell phones, and all the amenities that go along with that infrastructure. And there is no end in site for them, as Con Ed works to get the power back on.

Pumping out one of the basements in Stuy Town.

This was washed ashore A FULL CITY BLOCK and demolished a car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a person.

This storm was no joke. People were killed. People are now homeless. NYU Langone Medical Center lost power and had to transport more than 200 patients to other hospitals in the middle of the night last night. Thankfully, we have a massive team of First Responders here to help.

Ready to go.

Thankfully, we still have a President who believes FEMA is important enough to fund.

Our city is trying desperately to hold it together and help one another. Downtowners, come on uptown. We got you. Our beloved Central Park is being cleaned up. Our Rivers are still washing stuff onto running paths. We have a lot to do to bring our city back to normal.

The sirens have been going all day and night. I’m just glad they’re responding to emergencies.

Debris under the FDR.

The clean-up effort has already begun and is tremendous. I high-fived a sanitation worker over on Avenue C today who was kind enough to smile at me as I passed by his job site (a massive tree that had toppled over). The city services are out in force!

The scene from Broad St. into a below ground parking garage this afternoon.

One of the tunnels that merges with the FDR downtown.

But we have a long, long way to go before things are back to where they need to be in order for us to get back to school and work and life. You know what the last thing on my mind is?

The New York City Marathon.

Yes, I am part of the Medical Team. But right now, my efforts and energy are elsewhere.

Both Bloomberg & Wittenberg say the marathon will happen and I believe them. There is far too much money in it for them to cancel such a main event for the city. It will turn into some “enduring spirit of New York-ers” sort of PR event and the city will make lots and lots of money.

I don’t care.

I feel for you who have trained for it and would be so, so disappointed if it were cancelled. I do. I’ve been there. But you know what? Let’s put things into perspective and quit bombarding the {New York} Road Runners Facebook page and Twitter account with your panicked messages.

It’s going to happen. Come as planned. Quit your bitching.

Yada, yada, yada, the bleachers are up. Quit freaking out.

That’s two days in a row that I’ve sworn on my blog. I supposed hurricanes bring out my saucy side.

As for my New York neighbors, there are plenty of places to volunteer now that we are all out of work and school for a few days:

Our NYC Marathon Medical Team needs more volunteers since so many docs were pulled away because of Sandy. Email me: runstrongereveryday{at)gmail{dot)com if you are a medical professional or student who would like to volunteer on Marathon Sunday.

Please, give of your time, your talent, and your resources to help those who are in need and those who are helping to get our fairy city back on her feet. If anything, just be thankful it wasn’t you. And quit bitching about the marathon.

(There I go again…)

Now go out and run!

PS. I will see all of you at Flywheel Sports (11:30am @ JCC), luluelmon E 66th St., and the Javits Center tomorrow. Sweating, hugging, and volunteering. Hope to see some of you there! 

Make the Investment In Yourself

Christmas/Hanukah shopping is in full-swing, if not at critical mass, and people are dropping serious dough on the ones they love before the holidays officially start on Wednesday. In our family, we do a Secret Santa among the “kids” in my family because I am one of 5 and when you add in the significant others/spouses, it just gets ridiculous. So, besides coming up with a fabulous gift for JB, coordinating for our parents, getting the one Secret Santa gift and trying to stop myself from shopping even more for my fat little angle baby niece, Christmas shopping is pretty easy for me.

Shopping for others is easy for me.

Thoughtful presents for parents/loved ones? I got you covered! By the way, how is it possible the Post Office is so broke with all the presents and cards I'm mailing?

Investing in myself is not always so easy-breezy.

JB wants a tree for five days? Sure, we'll get a tree!

I have such a hard time spending on myself. Why is that?

Why can we find and spend on everyone else but ourselves? Some of it is <insert religion> guilt (Catholics/Jews, you feel me on this one), but the same could be said for any other type of religion/parenting/upbringing that encourage you to think only of others and never yourself. It’s not all a bad thing, mind you, and I don’t mean to rag on Catholicism or Judaism but it’s just something I personally struggle to find the balance between.

As a runner, I pride myself in being able to just lace up my shoes and run out the door, no fancy equipment required.

Got shoes? Can run!

But then I get an awesome new gadget for my birthday and my running is that much more enjoyable and I can tailor my workouts even more to the goals I have. Why did I wait so long to get my Garmin when I am absolutely at that place in my running career where pace/tempo/time matters to me?

My Garmin was a total life-saver in Philly!

I’m getting a lot better at investing in myself (ahem, NYU), thanks to JB and some very encouraging friends. Because, when you break things down, what are the cost equivalents for your health vs. other stuff?

  • $30 = Flywheel class or 3 drinks at a bar (~1 night out for most of us)
  • $90 = new pair of Brooks Defyance shoes or 1 dinner out (you know: drinks, dinner, dessert, tip…it adds up)
  • $20 = copay to see me favorite chiropractor or 1 movie with a snack
  • $76 = 1 month gym membership for winter treadmill running or going out for lunch once (or twice) a week for a month
  • $85 = lululemon run: inspire crops that last FOREVER and never chafe or 1 haircut I could honestly skip because my hair is always a mess pulled back in the winter
  • $12 = 1 yoga class at Laughing Lotus or 1 cheap-o manicure (tip not included)
  • $100= marathon race entry or Starbucks coffee 5 days a week (thank goodness I don’t drink coffee!)

This is what goes through my head when I’m budgeting every month for my fitness. As I get older and as my disease starts to make itself known in my everyday life, I am now more aware than ever how important it is for me to take good care of myself and make the investment in my physical health FIRST.

Cross training is a must. Flywheel class > boozy night on the town

Drinking, eating out, going to the movies and gorging on unhealthy snacks, these things don’t usually make me feel better. There’s a time and a place for them, but when they become the priority, I know I’ve lost my grip on what’s important in my life. My health, my happiness, my well-being have to come first. For me, that means I make lunch so I can afford Flywheel, yoga and a gym membership during the winter. My toenails are pretty bare throughout the winter so I can get those new pair of running shoes that I need. I invest in the right running clothes that will last because that just makes good sense.

And your time. Your time is so valuable and scarce. How do you spend it? What gets top priority?

Like I said, there’s a balance. But if you find yourself making time for your favorite sitcom or to catch up on your TiVo and not for your daily workout, don’t you think it’s something to re-evaluate? I do.

What do you give up so you can be the best, healthiest you? What aren’t you willing to give up? Tell me about it in the comments!

Now go out and run!