Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Days

While I hope that the summer's triad of June, July and August prove to be as emotionally satisfying as May has been, I am not holding my breath (and would appreciate it if next time I share such news you would back away from your computer before groaning since I can hear you).

May's first weekend was highlighted (or pockmarked depending upon your point of view) by my second foray in the New Jersey Marathon. Again this year I fell just short of my stated goal of "winning that mutha" - finishing a couple of thousand places or so shy of the medal stand. But I did finish it and in a not too-terrible time for a relatively old man (at least in terms of the condition of my knees) of approximately four and one half hours. I am confident that 2013 shall be my year. I am completely off the radar now. No one shall be expecting me.

This month has also heralded the arrival of the summer racing season at the Jersey Shore with this past Saturday's Spring Lake 5. It is an event that has been contested annually for thirty-six years and in which I have competed for the past two, which makes me wonder (as I am certain you are as well) just how the hell they managed without me for close to three and a half decades. Saturday morning in Spring Lake had a 'mid-July' vibe to it in terms of the temperature and the humidity. While it was a bit of a tough morning to run, it also served to remind those of us who run and race in the State of Concrete Gardens what lies ahead for the next 100 days or so. Embrace it, curse it or fear it. It matters not. It is coming sure as I am sitting here. And this year, as we had last year (and as he has done by his count close to twenty times - thus answering my question as to what the race's organizers did before I showed up last May), my running partner Gidg and my law partner Arnold and I - as well as close to 10,000 other folks - triumphed over the conditions.

And speaking of things to fear, if you spent a portion of the first mile of the Spring Lake 5 trying to weave your way through the mass of humanity clogging Ocean Avenue behind American Flag Body Condom Man - as I did - you have a visual image associated with "saluting the flag" that the pointiest stick in all the forests in all the world shall not be able to eradicate from your mind's eye.

But this month's highlight was the dual visits that the Missus and I enjoyed with first Suz on Mother's Day weekend, whose arrival was known to Margaret in advance, and thereafter Rob and Jess on Memorial Day weekend, whose arrival was known to Margaret....five seconds after Rob turned the corner around the back of Lynne's house in 'Squan on Friday night. Since Margaret did not know Rob was coming to New Jersey this weekend, neither did Joe. That allowed us to share the joy of the surprise on Sunday when the kids drove up from the beach and popped by the old homestead to see Joe.

As a general rule a sequel does not usually measure up to the original. As someone who witnessed both Margaret's reaction to seeing the kids on Friday night and Joe's to seeing them on Sunday afternoon, this was the exception that proved the rule. Think Godfather II.

I know not what June shall bring. I do know that May set the bar pretty damn high. June has quite a bit to measure up to. Truth be told, if it comes close that shall be good enough for me.


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