Monday, November 7, 2011

The View From My Recliner: The New York City Marathon

Despite the chaos that occurred as a result of having lost power for six days after 18 inches of snow blanketed the area, our electricity was restored in time to enjoy the NYC Marathon yesterday.

An annual event that we were privileged to experience just a few steps from our door when we lived minutes from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge, we'd watch the starter's pistol go off on TV and immediately prance down to the corner.

There we'd see the front runners approach, escorted by the flashing lights and inscrutable expressions of their police escorts.

My attitude regarding "those who run," despite genuine enthusiasm for the hordes thundering by on Fourth Avenue, remains the same: What's the hurry?
Ready, set, go!

As I've always maintained, running is for when someone is chasing you with a machete, if you see a van-full of pancake lovers parking closer than you have to the entrance of IHOP or when the dessert table is wheeled out at a wedding.

Other than that, a slow saunter is usually adequate.

Not to mention if you, like me, suspect that we are all given a pre-determined number of heartbeats at birth. Why would anyone waste them with cardiovascular exercise?

This attitude does not diminish my respect for those who make the run. Many of us who hurtle towards the buffet, do wish that we, too, had the stamina to run for sport and fitness as well as look fetching in tiny satin shorts (emphasis on the latter).

The stumbling block is that this requires actual sustained physical effort which, as you may have already deduced, is the natural enemy of the lazy and unmotivated.

Believe it or not, I once was a good runner. I was about ten when I had a race with a long-legged girl* in my fourth grade class and beating her remains a noteworthy accomplishment to this day.

While it is possible that I attempted to distract her (I may or may not have yelled "OH MY GOD--AN ALLIGATOR!!!), I propose that guile is as important as actual speed in any given situation.

I actually do intend to start walking for exercise around my neighborhood. I try to go out when it is least likely that I will meet a neighbor because I am typically gasping, panting and perspiring like a stevedore despite the chill in the air.

Often I will choose to emerge -- mistrustfully sniffing the fresh air -- under the cover of dusk for your benefit more than mine since my state of winded desperation is kind of gross a bit off-putting.

You're welcome.
Congrats to the winner, Geoffrey Mutai!

It is said that one should be able to comfortably converse while running. I say if one can comfortably converse while lying in a hammock under a palm tree while holding a mojito, you're fine. And this is why, it is more likely that Kim Kardashian will win a Nobel Prize for chemistry than you will see me running a marathon.

Congratulations to the winners as well as all those who ran yesterday. If you suspect that my snarky attitude is an attempt to cloak fierce jealousy of both your physical fitness as well as how darn good you look in spandex, you are totally correct.

*For those who attended P.S. 103 with me, the girl I beat in the race was none other than the lanky and speedy Vanessa Grey. I think she may have actually had the flu that day and there are no witnesses, but I did beat her. I swear.

Even the Easter Bunny runs in the NYC Marathon.


  1. Age is the enemy of speed, this much I know. I used to be fast. I am not slow, but the once easy dash from the car to the store in the rain leaves me wetter than before. I recall recently running with a much younger friend and I had to beg off even grunting a response to his discussion points. I fairness, he was in better shape and younger and I'm pretty sure he had the right kind of shorts on, which makes all the difference.


  2. I relate to all you said, sir...and totally agree that it's all bout the shorts! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. My very good 'real life' friend Lynne K (there are two Lynnes... things get messy) - competed (with her husband) in last year's New York Marathon... she has been unable to walk properly since... TRULY!
    I used to run and swim long-distance when I was young, ie 'before I knew better'... I think I was trying to escape... and I have NEVER looked good in shorts - there are pictures to prove it! :-)