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Posts Tagged ‘New York City Marathon’

Yesterday I paced a buddy of mine to his first NYCM finish – we started strong, got knocked down around 18, but got up and finished strong.  Way to go brother!

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There was so much more that I didn’t document while I was out there running my unofficial New York City Marathon…hopefully I will get around to it sometime soon, but in the meantime, this was my iPhone’s experience today!

all photos (except for Staten Island shots – which were downloaded), videos, notes and editing done on the iPhone – thank you Steve Jobs.

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So after yesterday’s post, which I wrote hours before the Mayor cancelled the marathon, many of you commented both here, on Facebook and on Twitter that I would have a whole year now to get Katy Perry’s attention for a donation of wigs.  I have to be honest with you, because I didn’t want to put anyone in an uncomfortable situation, I didn’t tell you the whole truth yesterday.  My struggle with deferment was much greater than a “should I or shouldn’t I run”.

I went to bed on Thursday night pretty much having decided that in the morning I would write to Lara, our amazing Team Up with Autism Speaks coordinator, and let her know I was deferring until 2013.  What I had seen on TV and heard from friends was simply horrifying and I could not see myself running when so many needed assistance.

I woke up at 5AM and instinctively reached for my phone.  I still had another half hour to sleep, but I notice the email alert said I had several emails that had arrived around 3AM.  This is what one of them (from one of Katy’s assistants) said:

Katy would be happy to make a donation of 25 wigs.

My new friend Andrew (Katy’s friend who I had been working with) sent this email:

Just got this email from one of the peeps at Katy’s management!

Which was followed by an email from Gene over at Charity Miles (he knows Andrew and is in the loop):

HOLY COW! THIS IS AMAZING!

I was ecstatic!  It had worked.

Katy Perry was donating 25 wigs!!!

As Gene said, how amazing was that???

Suddenly, I was back in it.  I was going to run New York!

But then reality started to hit me.  The fact that Katy Perry was generously donating 25 wigs to the cause did not change the fact that people in the City and surrounding areas were suffering.  I went back and forth all day, finally coming to the decision that I did.  Fortunately, the mayor finally called the event, taking a huge weight off of my shoulders.  I didn’t mention the wigs in yesterday’s post because I wanted to make sure that it was okay that I did – after all that they did, Katy and Andrew deserved the option of deciding whether or not to be mentioned.

I want to thank Katy and Andrew publicly.  Although the marathon was cancelled, at the very least, the wigs will be waiting for us for the 2013 New York City Marathon – all of you who volunteered to wear one this year have my gratitude and the right of first refusal for next year.

Thank you Andrew.

Thank you Katy.

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To run or not to run…

That is the question I have been grappling with over the last couple of days.

To be honest, even in the midst of Sandy, I was dead set on running New York this year.  So many factors came into play, not least of which was YOUR donations that put me over my fund raising goal in less than 3 weeks forcing me to wear a Katy Perry wig for the marathon.  How could I NOT hold up my end of the deal?  I was running, come Hell or high water…except the high water came…and it devastated parts of Staten Island, Manhattan and New Jersey, along with other parts of the Tri-State area.

Even as of Wednesday, I had no doubt I would be running the New York City Marathon this Sunday, pacing my girl Jersey to a sub-5:00 marathon with my blue wig from iParty; but as I’ve watched the coverage on TV and followed the posts and comments online, my determination has wavered.

The debate is passionate – on both sides.  Run the race. Cancel the race.  Postpone the race.  All valid opinions.  All of them.

My plan was to take the train down this evening, stay at my cousin’s tonight and tomorrow night, run the race on Sunday and then head home.  As of last night, the trains weren’t running, my cousin had no power, and because of the lack of ferry service, the bus traffic was going to be even more congested on race day.

There is no right answer when it comes to holding this marathon, there really isn’t.  Wait…no, let me re-phrase that – there are too many right answers when it comes to holding this year’s marathon.

$350 million could go a long way toward helping speed recovery in those areas of New York and New Jersey most devastated.  In addition, the NYRR is donating $26.20 for every runner that starts the race – that could quite possibly be an additional million dollars to help the City and surrounding area.

But then there’s the massive manpower needed to run an event like this.  The mayor has said that running the race will not take away from disaster relief, but that just sounds like wishful thinking to me.  One man watching over marathoners is one man who is not out there helping those in need, and with another storm approaching, the urgency to get people at least settled reaches a higher pitch.

Several people have approached me about my wearing of the wig – that it may be an added target to those angry spectators that may decide to cross the line.  If I were single and childless, I would laugh such suggestions off, in part because I know that even after 20 miles of running, I can outrun 80% of the population…but I can’t outrun projectiles…and I’m not single or childless.

Just as I gave up ever trying skydiving and bungee jumping the day I became a parent, I can’t put myself recklessly in harm’s way – I’ve been reading the comments online…they ain’t pretty.  In addition, despite the fact that the wig I picked up at iParty is for a charitable cause, I would completely understand if my appearance was taken as a sign disrespect to those affected by the storm.

Too many people are hurting.  I do think that the race should have been postponed or cancelled, but I also feel I owe a debt to all those that donated to the cause – I think that every charity runner is feeling that pressure.

So it is with a heavy heart that I am choosing to defer my entry into the New York City Marathon until 2013.

I wish all those who choose to run the very best; may the day treat you well.  I ask the runners to show residents their deserved respect, being mindful of what those in New York and New Jersey, particularly those on Staten Island, have been through.  I ask that those who disagree with those who choose to run take it out not on the runners but voice their opinions to the NYRR and the mayor.

I’ll be back next year…with my wig.

That’s a promise.

***

I want to thank Lara Collazo for all of the incredible work she is doing for the cause.  She is the organizer of all Team Up events and has been tirelessly working with Team Up runners to make sure they get what they need when they need it.  I also want to apologize to her publicly for choosing to defer so late in the game, especially in the midst of all she is doing. 

AutismCares is actively seeking families affected by autism who are victims of Hurricane Sandy and invites those families to call the Autism Response Team at 1-888-Autism2 (288-4762), En Español at 888-772-9050, or email autismcares@autismspeaks.org to receive assistance. Families may also register directly at www.autismcares.org. Please pass the info on to anyone who might need help.

Another option if you would like to help is http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-gurkoff/charity-miles_b_2065234.html .  Long story short, Gene over at Charity Miles will be making a special donation to relief efforts for every person that runs 26.2 charity miles this weekend.  How awesome is he?  Please check it out.

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***

If you follow along on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that I’ve started a campaign to capture Katy Perry’s attention and then convince her to donate one of her blue wigs to me to wear at this year’s New York City Marathon.  I started a petition on Change.Org to create a central location to collect your signatures.   If you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate your signing the petition.  The link is —>HERE<— (or you can click on the image below).  I’ll wait right here while you go over and sign it.

Sign Here!!!

Thanks.

But that’s only one prong of my three-pronged strategy to get Ms. Perry’s attention.

***

Part two also involves you as well, if you are willing.  Members of Team Up With Autism Speaks and I are putting together a Twitter campaign to send a steady stream of tweets to Katy Perry (Twitter handle: @katyperry).  I have no idea how often she reads the tweets that are sent to her.  Based on what I’ve seen on her twitter stream, she receives quite a few tweets – that happens when you have 24 million followers.  Ideally, at any given point during the day, for the next 8 weeks until New York, somebody will tweet to Katy asking her to donate a wig.  Obviously I will be tweeting her on a regular basis, but the more people that do it, the more likely either she, or whoever runs her social media will see it.  If you are up to sending her regular tweets (or even just one tweet), maybe it could look something like this:

Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ one of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #lightluaublue

or

Dear @KatyPerry, please let @luau run the NYC Marathon w/ 1 of your blue wigs for #Autism #Awareness – http://tinyurl.com/c8hf476 #luauisafirework

If you copy and paste either one of those two, you will use all 140 characters while providing her with a link to the petition, with hashtags for Autism and Awareness , which means that the tweet will pop up when people search for either one of those terms.  The link to Twitter is here:

Copy one of the tweets above and then click on the birdie!

The first coordinated Twitter-fest is tomorrow (Tuesday the 25th) at 10:30AM.  Hopefully if hundreds of people send her the same tweet at 10:30AM (EST), it might get noticed.

***

Finally the third prong of my strategy may or may not involve you – do you know Katy?  Somebody out there has to know her, right?  or at least someone who knows someone, whose uncle has customer who once dated a girl who is the sister of a guy who went to school with a girl whose aunt’s best friend’s son dated a girl who is one of Katy’s dancers?  Somebody, somewhere out there could let Katy know, right?  Okay, seriously though.  I’m trying to work through some people who work with people in the music industry, but if you know someone who knows her…or better yet, if YOU know her, I would love the opportunity to pitch my request to her.

…because I would look much better in this wig…

…than in this one!

***

So that’s it – my three pronged strategy: petition, twitter-bomb and finding somebody who might know somebody.  If you have suggestions on how better to reach her, please email me (runluaurun at gmail dot com) – I am open to any and all suggestions.

Don’t forget, 10:30AM tomorrow morning (EST).  I appreciate any and all help…even if it’s just passing this or the petition link or the tweet along.  Whether I succeed or not, I have a feeling that this will make a great starting point for my motivational speech the night before New York.

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So after this, I promise no more Boston 13.1 posts…well, not this week anyway.

Last Sunday I committed one of the cardinal sins of running – I ran a road race in a brand new pair of shoes; they still had that brand new smell to them as I slipped them on Sunday morning right before the race.  Why, you ask?  Why did I do something so phenomenally stupid?  Well, ever since Sugarloaf, the Green Mountain Relay and my subsequent Plantar Fasciitis, I’ve been transitioning off my Kinvara’s and back to my Vibram Five Finger shoes, specifically the Bikila’s.  Every Sunday for the last 10 weeks I have been taking out a small group of Team Up with Autism Speaks runners for a long training run; in my Bikila’s, which were getting smellier, smellier with each passing week.

It didn’t matter that I was washing them after each run – for whatever reason, they were permafunkdified…big time.  It got to the point that 2 weeks ago after taking the group out for one last run, I kinda grossed myself out in my car on the way home.

It was time for a new pair.  I meant to go on Monday so I would have a chance to break them in at some point.  I had found that with the VFF’s, I generally needed one short run to break them in.  Monday turned into Tuesday which rolled into Wednesday.  Late that afternoon I finally got myself to the store and picked up a brand new pair (on sale no less for $59!).

And then they sat in my closet.  This was the second week of the kids back being in school, which, for me, is always the craziest time of the year.  Suddenly, it was Sunday morning and I hadn’t broken in my new shoes.  I was going to have a car full of people on the way to the race so I left the stinky shoes at home and brought the new pair.

They felt good going on, but I knew from moment one exactly where the blisters were going to form – it was now a question of how long before they became unbearable.

Within a half mile I could feel the hot spots.  The blisters were coming and they were coming fast.  By mile 3 or 4 there they were…and so I faced a decision: do I continue to run like this, knowing that the blisters were only going to get worse, or do I take off my Bikila’s and go barefoot?

Barefoot running has always had an appeal to me, but to that point, the farthest I had run with naked feet was 5 miles, and those 5 miles really put a beating on my soles.

What to do? What to do?

4 to 5 miles in I couldn’t take the burning sensation anymore and off came the shoes…and to my surprise, the ground felt great!  Something I didn’t know before Sunday, the streets along Revere Beach are much smoother than those in my neighborhood.

I proceeded to finish the race barefoot.  I would finally put the Bikila’s back on for the final 2 to 3 miles of my 22 miles that day because A.) the finish chute was littered with pebbles and glass (though I did do it barefoot for quite a while) and B.) when Jess texted me that she was fading, I went into race mode and ran as fast as I could to get to her.

What does this all have to do with the title of this post?  I guess it’s a long, drawn out way of me saying that we are all stronger, we are all tougher than we think we are.

Before Sunday I had never run more than 5 miles barefoot – on Sunday, I did 16 miles and today (all this week actually) my feet are fine.  Before Sunday, Jess had never run/walked 13.1 miles, but when push came to shove, she did it.  So many Team Up With Autism Speaks Runners went a distance that they had never gone before.

We all have it in us to push beyond the boundaries we think surround us.  Sometimes those walls are very real, but more often than not, what we think is just beyond our reach is just waiting there for us to push ourselves just a little harder, stretch a little bit futher, dig a little bit deeper.

We all have it in us.

Heck, I’m even thinking that a barefoot New York City Marathon isn’t totally out of the question!

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As of 8:45 PM, September 14:

Which means:

I will be running the 2012 New York City Marathon with the Katy Perry Blue Wig.  Thank you to all who have donated to my cause.  I am blessed to have you in my life.  For those who would still like to give, please consider giving to Jess’ Boston Walk page – her company will match donations made to her page dollar for dollar.  The link is —>HERE<—.

Because you beat the deadline by a full day, I will be wearing this for Boston 13.1 on Sunday:

Thank you again!  You are amazing! I am blessed to know you. I am lucky to have you. I am humbled by your friendship.

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