I don’t know what it says about my training, or what it leaves out, but y’know how I track my annual goal distance for running each year and keep apprised of if I’m ahead or behind? Well, simply, I’m ahead. And officially, if I check forward a couple months (because I AM a couple months ahead) technically… just merely technically… I could skip any and all runs between now and New York, and (assuming I could still run NYC) never dip into the red on my annual tally. It’s just math, but that’s a comfortable mental space to be training in at the moment.
It felt like a good training weekend. I have been looking down the barrel at this approaching marathon –just over two months to go– and realizing that I need to start, actually start not just plan to start, cranking up my distance. So I went out on Friday morning (day off) and planning to run about 15 klicks, detoured and ended with a sprint a few blocks from my house at a solid twenty-one point one. Sunday, I was anticipating a bunch of post-marathon washouts from my crew, but Mary followed me for a mid-distance adventure and we trolled a half dozen bridges and clocked a solid twenty-three (though my watch blipped and erased the last three hundred meters!) Two halves, made for just over a full marathon over the weekend. Central Park in November doesn’t feel quite as unreachable this morning.
The running dreams have begun as NYC Marathon sneaks ever closer: I dreamed I was struggling to get to the start line, and when I ran I got lost in the basement of Central Perk cafe. Oi!
Of course the probability of being picked is extremely low, but I thought it worth noting that I’m officially entered in the draw for the 2016 NYC Marathon. Fingers crossed?
In many ways –being neither anywhere close to there nor directly connected with the event– it was never my tragedy. But there is a piece of that day, thirteen years ago today, that marks a point between a simpler then and a more complex now.
But then, I was just 24 years old on that day in September, had just moved away from where I grew up a few months earlier, was just settling into the routine of my first full time job, and was just feeling like I was about to be in a place to have my impact on the universe.
And then the phone rang. It was early in the morning, because I was on the west coast. And the world changed.
Last November, while visiting New York, and making good on a promise I made exactly one year ago today, Karin and I made our way to Ground Zero, waded through the strict security, took some photos, and paid our little bit of homage for whatever it was worth to the place, the people, and the event that has defined, however remotely, our adult lives.
It was never ours, but we quietly mark it anyhow.
The funny thing about traveling is that it mucks up your perspective for a few weeks after you get back. Every time I leave town on some epic vacation I come back and my thoughts about where I live are skewed: either I wonder why WE do something one way or why we DON’T do it another. I think this was magnified by going to New York. We’re so little, while New York is so big. For example, even that generic notion of culture is bigger: it has so many more ingredients cooked together, like a really robust chili recipe, blended and merged with time and heat for all the flavours to mature. In one way, this vastness and maturity of culture it makes me feel as if any idea I could come up with is just a pale reflection that’s already been done there. But then that might just be the challenge, right? To do it better. Different. Uniquely.
First, I won’t claim this is anything more than some fun-tastic snap-shot photography. It isn’t. All these pics were taken with a point-and-shoot Canon Elph 330HS with one of the built-in filters active.
But there I was…. standing on top of the Empire State Building.
I was packing my dSLR, of course, and I was swapping out between my 100mm to get some interesting long-shots with some awesome depth of field on the buildings, and my Lensbaby FishEye, which was letting me snap some (very, very manually-focused) wide, wide angle shots from the high-up perspective.
Barely worth mentioning, I also had my cell phone camera (which I was rocking for the exclusive purpose of nabbing pictures so I could live-blog them later), my GoPro, which was taking photos and videos simultaneously, but since I had no display on the camera it was a crap-shoot for what I was getting, and then this one: the point-and-shoot.
These little pocket cameras have so many cool little features built in, and I think I take as much joy in using those features in ways they were probably never intended as for using them exactly how they were intended. For example, I took all my “Shopping” album pictures in the exact same mode as these tilt-shift pics. Over-saturated colours with this faux-filter of a narrow band of focus, plus it does amazingly great in low light: it made for some inconspicuous yet interesting merchandise photos. Or, I think so.
But, again, there I was…. standing on top of the Empire State Building.
Enjoying the view. Snapping some photos. And I’m thinking: man, I’ve got this miniature mode on my little camera, so… why not? I’m up high. I’m looking down on one of the coolest cities in the world. How often am I going to have this opportunity?
You can judge the results for yourself. It’s not high class tilt-shift by any means –kinda low-class, and the lines are a little too sharp– but I think the result is interesting and intriguing anyhow. It’s got that feel of something big-made-small. It’s got the tilt-shift sense to it, if a little imperfect in the implementation.
Not that he’ll ever read this, but I saw Victor Lucas at the T.O. airport the other day. Even after celebrity-spotting in NYC all weekend I think he was still the ranking gamer of the bunch. Too bad he was on the phone: could have said hi.
We’ve been home from New York all of 36 hours, but already everyone is busy talking about the next vacation. Florida, here we come!
Saturday morning we were on our way to the Rockefeller Center to go see the view from the top. We left our hotel and headed east and as we approached 6th Avenue near Bryant Park it was eerily devoid of traffic or people, just so empty with a handful of people standing along the road. Then, just as we were about to cross the road, around the corner comes few dozen elite runners with a pace car and television camera tacking them. They passed by in a blur. Then more runners. Then even more. And within a few minutes there were thousands and thousands of runners sprinting North along the road. Turns out we randomly encountered the start of the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5k Race. Nearly 8200 people dashed down 6th avenue on a Saturday morning. Too bad I didn’t know: I may have avoided another vacation marathon, but I definitely would have signed up for a 5k.
I mise you
We’ve been in New York for the weekend… plus a couple days, a grown-up trip, Karin’s mom hanging out at our house, babysitting Claire. For those who might be interested, I’ve had my phone and a US data plan this whole time and I’ve been trying my hand at live blogging whilst we’ve been touring around the city, all the while feeling very small in this massive, crazy metropolis. You can check that out that article on my website, but be aware, it’s pretty long and might make you a bit green: we’ve been having a helluva time.