I finally made a decision. Which, given my propensity toward procrastination, is an achievement worthy of celebration. A week after running the Marine Corps Marathon, I’ve decided to run the New York City Marathon. This means bidding a sad farewell to my Tiffany & Co. finisher’s necklace in San Fran. I’ll be sure to wear some flowers in my hair, and jewelry around my neck, another time. Despite the cardiac arrest when I saw the NYC race entry charge to my credit card ($275, gee whiz! Self observation: when I’m in shock I speak like I’m a cast member of Leave it to Beaver) and the subsequent stroke when I checked out the hotel rates (even the so-called “recession rates”), I’m looking forward to the challenge of running two marathons, nay running in two massive marathoning events, in eights days. I’m looking forward to all the race weekend hoopla. I love hoopla.
During Marine Corps I will race for a PB (weather permitting); New York will be a fun run with the very lofty goal of running a PW (Personal Worst). If luck is with me I’ll achieve a marvellous PB-PW double whammy. Now I don’t want to tempt the running fates, but I’m feeling particularly confident about the PW. New York is the ideal course for a PW, what with the eons-long wait at the start, the mass of runners, the likelihod of getting peed on, the central park hills. As John Bingham once said (I’ve paraphrased because I’m too lazy to look up the exact quote — laziness + procrastination: how is it I ever get to the starting line?), you pay for the race and if you really want to get your money’s worth you should stay on the course as long as possible. With the high cost of this race I’m determined to squeeze out every last penny. If ever there was a course to be savoured, New York sounds like the one. I can dance to the beat of the many entertainers, high-five the throngs of spectators, practice my Jersey accent, and sight-see the famous landmarks. I’m not going to rush through the Boroughs; from Brooklyn to the Bronx I’m going to take the time to appreciate every unique kilometre (or mile, in this case). I may even, for the first time ever, carry a camera during the race. I will, however, leave my brightly patterned tourist shirt and money belt at home.
There is some relief in narrowing my marathons choices down to two, although the crazy in me still wonders about possibility of three in fifteen days. Fortunately the sensible in me routinely wins the battle with crazy in me and rational thinking prevails: a double hitter is more than enough. For now.
Title Reference: Billy Joel – New York State of Mind. From the album Turnstiles. 1976.