Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nothing Rhymes With Orange...

There is a word for what Noah Syndergaard of the Mets did on Friday night, in Game Three of the World Series, when his first pitch to KC's lead-off man Alcides Escobar in the top of the first inning was a 98-mile-per-hour fastball up and in that sent Escobar sprawling to the ground in the right-hand batters' box at Citi Field.  That word is - baseball.  There is also a word for the whiny douchebaggish (and extended) response that KC's Mike Moustakas had to Syndergaard's opening salvo and as I glance back at the first part of this sentence, it occurs to me that I may have used it already.  At twenty-three, young Noah has revealed himself to be imbued with an old baseball soul.  May he never lose it.  

I played hooky on Friday afternoon.  I took a ferry trip from Port Imperial Terminal in Weehawkin to the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to pick up my bib and other essentials for this morning's New York City Marathon.

The scope of this event struck me for the first time on Friday afternoon as I walked through the Javits Center.  Today is my maiden voyage in the New York City Marathon and having run my home state's marathon multiple times did little to prepare me for just how "big" this event actually is.  Pretty cool stuff.

Yesterday morning I went for my final pre-marathon run.  Nothing too long.  Nothing too fast.  In other words, my typical effort.  I ran over to Victor Crowell Park and paid my respects to Thomas Gorman at the September 11, 2001 Memorial.  It was a beautiful morning for a run.  A bit chilly perhaps.  I did rue the decision to leave my gloves at home but other than that minor discomfort, it was terrific.  No iPod.  No watch.  Just me and my thought (I hope one day to be wise enough or wealthy enough to be able to add a second).  

As I ran I thought about the fact that it was slightly more than six years ago that I took up running as a principal physical activity.  When I first started doing it, my goal was to be well-prepared enough to not fail to complete the 5K course at the 2009 Race for the Cure at Jackson, New Jersey.  The notion of attempting to run a marathon was utterly unfathomable.  I completed my first one approximately three years later.  This morning I will stand on the Verrazano Bridge awaiting the release of my group, Wave 4, onto the marathon course of the New York City Marathon.  I smile simply typing those words.

I shall run as hard as I can for as long as I can in order to make it to Margaret and her posse (a huge debt of gratitude owed to Gidg, Jeff, and Lynne for taking in this experience with her) in Central Park as quickly as I can.  But before I run a single step, I shall stand completely still for a moment and take it all in.

For I shall never pass this way again.  I intend to savor the experience.


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