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Am writing this to explain the hiatus since the last post.

I did run the NYC Marathon on Sunday Nov. 7th.  But a few days before the race, I was aware that my mom’s condition in India was getting worse. That weighed heavily on my mind and I was expecting a call to rush home any moment. So, with a lot on my mind and a heavy heart I showed up at the starting point at Staten Island on race day. It was cold and windy and the wait was about 4 hours before the start of my wave. This wait is the part of NYC marathon that I did not like.

However, I was finally off the corral and breezed through Verrazano bridge and Brooklyn. By the time I reached Queensboro bridge at 15th  mile I was starting to cramp and was struggling to keep up with my race partners. I asked them to go ahead and told them I would walk for some distance. Team Galloway, the running group I belong to, had our own aid stop at about 17th mile. I stopped there for a while to overcome my disappointment and replenished myself with much needed snacks and Gatorade. The temptation to give up the race was very strong, but then I thought of my mom and decided that even if I had to crawl on my hands and knees, I will finish the race and get the medal for her.

So off I went, limping, walking and hobbling to complete the rest of the distance. At about mile 20 I saw Al Roker, the famed NBC weatherman. That’s when I had a sly thought. Come what may, I was not going to let myself finish slower than him! In the end I finished about 75 minutes ahead of him. He probably struggled during the last few miles.

Somewhere during the course, I had also seen the rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena running with two pace setters carrying the Chilean flag. He eventually finished a few minutes ahead of me.

Nyc_Marathon

There is me in the white cap somewhere during the race

I finally finished the race both physically and emotionally drained. A couple of days later, I received the much dreaded call from India. My mother was admitted to ICU, after her body reacted adversely to radiation. She was undergoing chemotherapy and was being started with radiation to arrest the cancer that had spread from her breast to most parts of the body.

I rushed to see her in Chennai. Though she could not talk, she did open her eyes a couple of times and I believe she recognized me. And then one morning she breathed her last. She had turned 70 couple of months ago.

Funeral and post-funeral rites were stressful and heart-wrenching. I returned to the US sad and reflective. Updating the blog seemed trivial given what I had lost.

I miss her and hope and wish her soul has found its resting place.

 

Central_Park_Fall

I ran the final 10.2 miles of the NYC Marathon route with a large group of runners from Galloway and the Prospect Park Track Club of Brooklyn. Most of the route is uphill which gave me a newfound respect for the New York City Marathon.

The above picture was taken at Central Park after 8 miles of run. Fall is here and the leaves display it.

The run was good. Weather was cool and I needed gloves. There were couple of aid stops en route and hot chocolate and bagels at the finish area.

Wish me a good run for the 2010 NYC Marathon this Sunday, Nov. 7th!

Official Stats:
13.1 Miles
2:17:30 Minutes
10:36 Pace

My Garmin Stats:
13.21 miles
2:15:01 Minutes
10:13 Pace

LibertyStatePark

Pic: The waterfront after mile 11

I had run this race last year too, but when I signed up again this year, I had wanted this to be a training run for my 2010 NYC Marathon.

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Start: 6:30am at Central Park, Upper East Side

Temp: 57 °F

Thanks to Gautham again who not only convinced and motivated me to join the run, but ran with me the whole distance. Even when I was slowing down due to tiredness and pain he ran alongside and kept encouraging me. I finally completed the 23 miles run. It was physically and mentally tough, but I am glad I finished the run. The weather helped as it was not too warm.

With one more long distance run (26 miles) , I am back to my training schedule in preparation for NYC Marathon.

I ran with my Galloway group and we finished where we started at Central Park on the upper east side. As I sat down on the bench to rest my tired legs and recover my breath, I beheld a strange sight. I saw this white statue of a ballerina that I had not noticed before.

ballerina

From where I sat, I kept looking at her still pose and was wondering when this statue was installed. I wanted to go closer and take a better look, but my legs were aching and sitting on the bench felt very good. I kept looking at the statue for what seemed like an eternity and then she gracefully moved to strike another pose! That’s when my curiosity got the better of me and I went closer and took the above picture. There was a bucket which can be partially seen on the left corner bottom. It said ‘please donate a dollar if you wish to take a picture’. We did donate. I was amazed by her stillness and grace.

I was happy to complete 23 miles though I was aching and sore all over.

My next goal – Newport Liberty Half Marathon on Sept. 26th.

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